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Kent Wang

[Austin] Restaurant openings, closings and changes

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Let's use this thread for restaurant openings, closings and staff and ownership changes. Please post verified information here, or PM me with word-of-mouth, rumors, etc. that I may be able to check out.

It is important that we not post mis-information here, because it can have a negative effect on a restaurant and all the people who work there.

To start, I'd like to dispel the rumor that John Mueller's BBQ is closed. I went today and business is as good as ever with customers lined up outside the door.

More to come.

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There's two new reestaurants opening on S. 1st, on Mexican Food row. One of them is called Acuarios Cafe, which advertises Tex-Mex(you cant have too many Tex-Mex restaurants!), and the Buenos Aires near Oltorf. I really hope this is going to be S. American food. Neither are open yet, but it looks like it will be soon.


Edited by franktex (log)

Frank in Austin

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From the Austin Chronicle

Changes: Salt Lick

Sam Dickey called to report that he's the new executive chef at the Salt Lick 360 (3801 Capital of TX Hwy., 328-4957) where he plans to develop a distinctive upscale cowboy cuisine to complement their famous barbecue. Dickey will also be designing party menus for the company's new party facility, Thurman's Mansion, which sits on a hill overlooking the original Salt Lick (18300 FM 1826, 894-3117) near Driftwood. General Manager Jay Knepp says the outfit is pleased to have Dickey on board to diversify its culinary options, and he told me about the new project that's dear to his wine-loving heart: Knepp is overseeing the planting of four acres of vineyard on the Salt Lick property, so the restaurant can eventually produce its own wines

New: Capitol Brasserie

Chef Andy Sasser e-mailed to announce that Capitol Brasserie (310 Colorado, 472-6770, www.capitolbaustin.com/menus.htm) is up and running. "We just served dinner the first week, then added lunch the next, and now we'll be doing breakfast and brunches on the weekends," he explains. Former Bitter End chef Reggie Ferguson helped his old mates get the new French restaurant open

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From Austin Chronicle:

The tastiest new international comfort food to hit town has to be the Aussie pies at a new spot called Boomerang's (3110 Guadalupe, 380-0032, www.boomerangspies.com). Australians eat some 2 billion of these savory portable pastries every year, and Texans Jack and Emilie Fennel developed a taste for them while living Down Under. Now, they've brought the pies back to Austin and set up shop several blocks north of the UT campus. We've tried several varieties of the ultra-flaky pies, both meat and vegetarian, and found them very satisfying. Stop by the shop and sample a few pies paired with their big selection of Australian beers.

I'm definitely going to try one soon and see what all the fuss is about.

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John Mueller's forced to close!

From Rob Balon:

The sign on the door may say closed for remodeling but the back story is that the restaurant is permanently closed. There will be no reopening at the Manor Road location.

John Mueller lost his lease and was forced out by the new owners. He is looking for a new location to rebuild his popular BBQ joint. We’ll let you know when and if he reopens.

02/13/06

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Under contruction:

Madam Mam's-Westgate/290

Hyde Park Grill-Westgate/290

Hoover's #2-183 near Anderson Mill (not sure of the exact cross st)


Frank in Austin

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Another closure:

Rosie's Tamale House on Congress @ Oltorf closed last night after 11 years in Austin. I never did go there.


Frank in Austin

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Opening: Veranda. From Rob Balon.

The Veranda has opened with a very eclectic menu featuring retro classics like Steak Diane and Veal Oscar, a killer Cajun crawfish pasta, and a very delectable Tex Mex menu. The atmosphere is nice and the price points are very reasonable.

Opening: Taverna. From Rob Balon.

The city’s grand vision of a retail and restaurant paradise in the 2nd-3rd street area continues to unfold with the recent opening of Taverna at 258 West 2nd St. Part of a smallish chain, with sister restaurants in Dallas and Miami, Taverna is an Italian bistro with entree prices ranging from $12 to $18 dollars. The Gnocchi di Spanaci alla Bolognese is a dish that will be first on my “must try” list.

Opening: Hoover's on Anderson Mill. From Rob Balon.

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From Austin Chronicle

Opening: "Paciugo (241 W. Second, 474-7600), a new gelato and coffee shop that is part of a Dallas-based chain."

Opening: "Mandola's Italian Market (4700 W. Guadalupe #12, 419-9700). The market belongs to longtime Houston chef/restaurateur Damian Mandola and his wife, Trina, who are recent transplants to the Austin area. The new venture will be part restaurant, part grocery and specialty store, and all Italian."

Closing: Rocco's Grill

Closing: Crescent City Beignets

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Nat joins Beluga in Round Rock. From Rob Balon. If he's right about placing him up there with Musashino and Uchi, Beluga sounds like a must.

Sushi Master Nat (I have no idea how to pronounce or spell his Thai last name) has joined the staff at Beluga in Round Rock. I have tasted Nat's work at his catering company, Nat in the Kitchen, and he is an artist. This is a great move for Beluga which has recently opened in Round Rock and is trying to establish a nighttime clientele. With the exception of perhaps Smoky from Musashino and Tyson Cole from Uchi, Nat can flat out bring it when it comes to sushi and sashimi.

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According to their Web site (and the guy behind the counter at their Guadalupe location last week), Madam Mam's opens their Westgate location today.

ETA: I'll personally confirm they are open since I stopped by for lunch today. They are located in the pink building just after the Shell gas station. The sign out front is still that of the former BBQ place though, so I missed them the first time I drove by. Oh, and the food was great. :wub:


Edited by nacho (log)

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From the Austin Chronicle:

Chef/owner Tyson Cole of Uchi (801 S. Lamar, 916-4808) e-mailed to let us know that he has added two accomplished local chefs to his large, diverse cooking staff. The sophisticated dessert creations of Phillip Speer will now complement meals at Uchi, and Deegan McClung is the new chef de cuisine at the nationally recognized eatery.

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Chef de Cuisine, eh? That means Tyson's out of the kitchen; gonna' be on the star circut?

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Nope, Tyson's still there, five or six nights a week. (We are open seven days a week.) Tyson, as always, is the executive chef and there has always been a chef di cuisine under him. Deegan is in charge of the kitchen and Tyson oversees Deegan and the sushi bar.

Some new restaurants opening soon:

The Belmont (305 West Sixth) is opening in September, opened by Brian O'Neill (ex-GM of Uchi and Planet Hollywood, NY), Daryl Kunik (Chango's, Uchi, Red Fez, Hi-Lo), Matt Luckie (Red Fez, Lavaca St., Hi-Lo) and myself (Uchi, Red Fez, The Peacock).

"Lambert's Downtown Barbecue (2nd and Guadalupe) from Lou Lambert (Lambert's) and Larry McGuire (Lambert's, Starlite).

Woodlands (old Seven Location on South Congress) Diner from Mike Terrazos (Starlite, Club DeVille).

Look for an Uchi expansion in the winter of 2006.


Edited by Michael Capochiano (log)

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According to the Austin Chronicle:

Dolce Vita is changing owners.

Bick and Erika Brown announced they've sold the Hyde Park neighborhood gelato shop and bar Dolce Vita (4222 Duval St., 323-2686) to techies Pascal Nicolas and Beverly Gonzales. The new owners and their general manager, Alex Maradiaga, are learning the ropes, not to mention the gelato and dessert recipes, from the shop's popular longtime proprietor, Concetta Mastroianni, Erika's mom. Once she's got the new folks off to a good start, Concetta will be selling real estate for Keller Williams Realty. The new owners assure us they intend to maintain the level of quality and service guests expect at Dolce Vita while adding some flourishes of their own somewhere down the road

El Chile founders are opening El Gringo next door at the old John Mueller's building.

Rivera also shared some details about their newest restaurant venture on Manor Road's Restaurant Row. Look for El Gringo (1917 Manor Rd.) to debut sometime this fall, hopefully in time to feed some fall football crowds. Rivera and his team are working closely with designer Joel Mozersky on all aspects of the new place, which will have an American bistro menu with some Latin influences. "This is the most fun I've ever had putting a restaurant together,"

Dot's is re-opening.

Austin's queen mother of comfort food, the legendary Dot Hewitt, is finally rising from the ashes of her former restaurant and settling in a new location. Hewitt has been serving a modified menu to her die-hard faithful customers from a trailer near the slab of her former restaurant since soon after it burned down in October of 2004. Now, she's moved to a renovated pizza parlor in Pflugerville, and Dots Place (15803 Windermere Dr., 252-9300) is once again open for business. So many people are going to be so happy about this!

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El Chile founders are opening El Gringo next door at the old John Mueller's building.

They appeared to be having a party in there on Sunday night. I'm looking forward to checking it out, although I still miss having great bbq right down the street from me.

Dot's is re-opening.

YEESSSS! But WHY PFLUGERVILLE?! I wish they would open closer to where I live. I guess I'm just selfish like that.


-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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Some new restaurants opening soon:

The Belmont (305 West Sixth) is opening in September, opened by Brian O'Neill (ex-GM of Uchi and Planet Hollywood, NY), Daryl Kunik (Chango's, Uchi, Red Fez, Hi-Lo), Matt Luckie (Red Fez, Lavaca St., Hi-Lo) and myself (Uchi, Red Fez, The Peacock).

Went to The Belmont last night for drinks and really like the place. It was a nice evening to hang out at the upstairs patio bar (kinda reminded me of the LA bar scene). I see myself becoming a fixture at the retro bar downstairs. I think The Belmont is comprised of 4 different bars. The menu looked like classic comfort food.

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Chon Som to have grand opening. From Rob Balon.

While Thai and Sushi styled Chon Som has been open since the summer, and long enough to win over a strong local following, their official grand opening is scheduled for January 20th.

Nat and Marissa have promised to make this a fun and tasty evening. Diners will be able to sample from sushi and Thai favorites. Call 989-5559 to make a reservation.

Woodland is opening. From Austin Chronicle.

The long-awaited Woodland (1716 S. Congress, 441-6800) is finally open, and we hear SoCo neighbors are thrilled. Proprietor Michael Terrazas and chef John Wolfe were kind enough to share the menus with me, and many things piqued my interest, especially the affordable prices. It seems the Woodland aims to be the kind of neighborhood place folks could afford to visit regularly. They are currently serving dinner from 5 to 11pm Tuesday through Sunday and will add Saturday and Sunday brunches from 10am to 3pm this weekend. Weekday lunches may not be a possibility due to parking concerns.

Opal Divine's new location. From Austin Chronicle.

The Opal Divine's folks sailed into the former Sea Island near Parmer and MoPac during the holidays, and now Opal Divine's Marina (12709 N. MoPac, 733-5353) is up and running. The newest Opal's menu features some grilled seafood items in addition to their established favorites, and their kitchen will serve until 1am, which makes them unique in that particular area.

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Capitol Brasserie sold. From Austin Chronicle.

On the local restaurant front, Warehouse District pioneer Reed Clemons announced last week that he sold Capitol Brasserie (310 Colorado, 472-6770) to Michael Girard, the owner of Speakeasy and Cuba Libre, who will continue to operate the restaurant with the existing staff. Clemons cited increased competition from well-funded upscale chain restaurants in the neighborhood as one of his major reasons for the sale. "In my opinion, the market is going to be very tough down here until all those lofts fill up," he explains. "At least seven new restaurants have opened since the Brasserie opened its doors, and another 10 or so are slated to open soon. I believed it was only going to get harder before it got easier." Clemons will continue to operate Reed's Jazz & Supper Club (9901 Capital of TX Hwy., 342-7977), where he says he's "bracing for the onslaught of new chain restaurants opening in the Domain."

The Dry Dock at Canary Nest Opens on 5800 Burnet Rd. From Rob Balon.

Gail Johnson knows a thing or two about neighborhood establishments. Near our office on South Congress is the redoubtable Ego's, a place which for 30 years has defied the logic that location is everything. I'm happy to see the Dry Dock is the latest neighborhood addition, and this time he's added a very nice seafood/cajun menu to go along with the libations. Dry Dock is open for lunch and dinner, and has an active karaoke scene as well. (512) 371-3132

Brazilian Bakery and Coffeehouse “Bossa Nova” opens on E. 6th. From Rob Balon.

A Brazilian couple who until recently had owned and operated bakeries in Brazil are now holding forth in the River City on 2121 E. 6th St.

Their son-in-law Roy Shapley is the manger of Bossa Nova. Hours are 7-7 M-F and 9-5 Sat/Sun. Number is 736-6887. And here’s hoping we don’t have to “blame it on the Bossa Nova”. [lol]

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David Bull Leaves Driskill Grill. From Austinist. Go to the article for a funny picture.

The Driskill Hotel's David Bull has made like a tree and leaved his post as Executive Chef.

According to the Austin America-Statesman, after concluding his Hill Country Wine and Food Festival obligations, he'll make a circuit of the state, overseeing food and beverages at the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio, then do the same at Dallas' Stoneleigh Hotel, then come back to roost at the Seaholm Plaza Hotel where he will oversee culinary operations.

...

No word on who will step in to his position.

The Dry Dock at Canary Nest Opens on 5800 Burnet Rd. From Rob Balon.

Gail Johnson knows a thing or two about neighborhood establishments. Near our office on South Congress is the redoubtable Ego's, a place which for 30 years has defied the logic that location is everything. I'm happy to see the Dry Dock is the latest neighborhood addition, and this time he's added a very nice seafood/cajun menu to go along with the libations. Dry Dock is open for lunch and dinner, and has an active karaoke scene as well. (512) 371-3132

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Mars moving to South Congress. From Austin Chronicle.

Mars Restaurant & Bar (1610 San Antonio, 472-3901) will close the doors at their current location March 25 and move to a greatly expanded new home in SoCo in early April. "I'm thrilled to move to the heart of South Austin. We hope our customers will follow us to the new location and we're able to attract a new crowd in the process," says Mars owner Lori Simon. The new location will almost double the existing floor space plus add a lovely outdoor patio shaded by large oak trees. The interiors at the new space will evoke memories of the original with a similar color scheme enhanced with some modern decor elements provided by designer Joel Mozersky. In addition to the eclectic Middle Eastern-infused dinner menu, Executive Chef Reggie Ferguson will also be serving lunch at the new restaurant, as well as a dim sum Sunday brunch.

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