Sandra Bullock is arguably one of the world’s A-list movie stars, but in her adopted town of Austin, Texas, where she lives with her son Louis, you’d never know it. There, she is owner of two popular restaurants, Bess Bistro and Walton’s Fancy and Staple, where she involves herself in every menu decision. Bullock opened Bess in 2006 and Walton’s in 2009 as a way to focus on something outside Hollywood.
Both restaurants have received wide acclaim. When Bess Bistro opened, a reviewer from the Austin Chronicle called it her “favorite new place to go for a hearty meal, a glass of wine, and a fun time either alone or with friends.” Highlights of the intimate and comfy spot include the shepherd’s pie and the croque monsieur. The restaurant’s produce comes from its own farm outside Austin.
Walton’s Fancy and Staple, in Austin’s restored West Sixth Street Building, has also received strong praise. A writer from the Downtown Austin blog called the place “awesome” and lauded its gourmet sandwiches and fresh flowers (the restaurant is also a flower shop).
“The acting thing is so beyond my control,” Bullock told Vogue in 2013. “Acting isn’t mine. You are like a tiny piece in this big corporate mechanism that needs chemistry and divine intervention. This [Bess Bistro and Walton’s Fancy and Staple] is mine.”
In addition, the Academy Award–winning actress (The Blind Side) owns Fortis Films, a production company that has produced films including Miss Congeniality, Two Weeks Notice, All About Steve, and the former television series George Lopez.