The Statesman reports that chefs Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki have partnered with the owners of Fresa's Chicken al Carbon to bring twin restaurants to East Austin in 2014. Per the press release, new restaurant Launderette will be a "neighborhood cafe and grocery" focused on food not defined by "exotic pairings and gastronomical acrobatics." According to The Statesman:
"Ortiz says the menu will change as they see fit, and he will cook what he calls 'one-two-three food,' meaning a protein plus accoutrement plus sauce. There will be something for everybody, he says, on a menu that will include grilled foods, pasta, a vegetable section, oysters and more."Laura Sawicki will be serving up ice cream "by the scoop" as well as pastry offerings in the grocery. The location will also feature a Chinese take-out restaurant called Angry Bear with "a Szechuan bent."
Fresa's owners Margaret Vera and Tracy Overath have parted ways with McGuire Moorman Hospitality and are taking full control of Fresa's, which they are actively looking to expand. Ortiz will serve as the executive chef across all projects, and Sawicki will serve as the pastry chef. Ortiz first connected with Vera because their children "go to the same school." The full press release is below.
CHEFS RENE ORTIZ AND LAURA SAWICKI PARTNER WITH MARGARET VERA AND TRACY OVERATH OF FRESA'S TO CREATE NEW RESTAURANT GROUP
Group to Open New All-Day Neighborhood Café In the Summer of 2014
AUSTIN, TX (November 19, 2013) – Fresa's owners Margaret Vera and Tracy Overath (formerly part of McGuire Moorman Hospitality) are pleased to announce the formation of their new restaurant group with award winning Austin chefs, Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki. The group plans to launch a new restaurant concept in the summer of 2014 and are actively looking for real estate to grow Fresa's Chicken al Carbon.
Rene Ortiz will serve as the executive chef across all projects with Laura Sawicki as the pastry chef, Margaret Vera is the creative director and Tracy Overath will be the controller.
"Margaret and I became friends by way of our children who go to the same school, " says Ortiz. "I deeply admire her work ethic and passion and I could not be more thrilled to be a part of this team."
The group is feverishly working on their new project, Launderette, a neighborhood café and companion grocery that will feature all-day dining. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in a classic café setting, Chefs Ortiz and Sawicki designed the menu to feature real food with the notion that the offerings will not be defined by exotic pairings and gastronomical acrobatics. Additionally, a second concept will be onsite named Angry Bear that will feature Chinese take-out.
"I am so grateful to Tom & Larry for all their support in launching Fresa's," said Margaret Vera. "It's exciting to be at a point where we can take over the reins and develop our own group. We couldn't be luckier to have Rene and Laura as our partners. It's such a perfect fit across the board. I'm blown away by their breadth of knowledge and the depth of their commitment to their craft."
In addition to the Launderette, the new team plans to expand locations for the wildly successful Fresa's and are actively looking at real estate. At this time, Ortiz and Sawicki have no major changes to the menu.
· Chef Rene Ortiz and partners to open cafe/grocery Launderette and Chinese take-out Angry Bear, and take-over Fresa's [Statesman]
· All Rene Ortiz Coverage [EATX]
· All Laura Sawicki Coverage [EATX]
· All Fresa Chicken Al Carbon Coverage [EATX]
[Photo: Giant Noise/Official]