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The Most Anticipated Austin Restaurant Openings, Winter 2016

15 winter openings to look out for and more.

Bufalina Due
Bufalina Due
Robert J. Lerma/EATX
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

2016 means there is an entirely new slate of restaurant and bar openings set to open in Austin. This includes some holdovers from fall and expansions of already-beloved establishments from in- and out-of-state, as well as brand new restaurants and bars. Here are the restaurants to anticipate this winter, plus a sneak peek of what to expect for the rest of 2016 and beyond. See any openings missing below? Hit up the tipline.



Location: 1603 South Congress Ave., SoCo
Major Players: Paul Qui, Yoshi Okai, Jesse Herman, New Waterloo
Projected Opening: March 2, 2016
South Congress Hotel is still awaiting Otoko, the hotly anticipated Japanese eatery from Paul Qui. Diners at the 12-seat counter-only restaurant will immerse themselves in an omakase-style menu featuring high-grade fish, sushi and kaiseki, all with an Austin lens. The $150 reservations will be made through Tock, naturally.
Status: March reservations are sold out
All Otoko Coverage [EATX]

[Photo: Nadia Chaudhury/EATX]

Barley Swine

prop_Retail_6555Burnet___rendering2___LG_lg_cropped.0.jpg Location: 6555 Burnet Road, Brentwood
Major Players: Bryce Gilmore, Susana Querejazu, Robert Stevens, John Michael Williams
Projected Opening: January 2016
It will be a relatively quick switcheroo for Barley Swine after the original South Lamar location closed earlier this month. The larger spot means the team can play with the tasting menu and expanded a la carte options with more Gulf seafood, desserts, and the full bar, including tiki and edible cocktails.
Status: Now open
All Barley Swine Coverage [EATX]

[Rendering: Endeavor/Official]

Boiler Nine Bar + Grill


Location: 214 West Ave., Downtown
Major Players: Jason Stude, Jason Stevens, La Corsha Hospitality Group
Projected Opening: Late winter/early spring 2016
Boiler Nine will transform the Seaholm Power Plant building into a multi-part restaurant and bar concept with wood-fired entrees and drinks from mixologist genius Jason Stevens. The patio bar, Deck Nine, overlooks the Colorado River, and basement lounge The Boiler Room will be intimate.
All Boiler Nine Bar + Grill Coverage [EATX]

[Photo: Boiler Nine Bar + Grill/Official]


irenes_plywood_cropped.0.jpg Location: 506 West Ave., Downtown
Major Players: Andrew Curren, Craig Collins, ELM Group
Projected Opening: February/March/April 2016
The fifth concept from ELM aims to feel like a dive bar with food. The counter window will offer breakfast service with to-go pastries, coffee, and cigarettes. For the rest of the day, there’s soup, salads, and sandwiches for lunch, and heartier fare during dinner, plus cocktails. Look out for good patio space along Shoal Creek and an upright piano.
All Irene’s Coverage [EATX]

[Photo: Irene's/Official]



Location: 1300 South Lamar
Major Players: Michael Sanders, Jessica Sanders
Projected Opening: March 2016
The superstar team of Michael and Jessica Sanders are bringing their talent to South Austin with a two-story cocktail destination, including a rooftop patio and a staircase lounge. If Drink.Well is any indication, expect very thoughtful drinks.
All Backbeat Coverage [EATX]

[Rendering: Backbeat/Official]

Bufalina Due


Location: 6555 Burnet Rd., Brentwood
Major Players: Steven Dilley, Alexandra Manley, Robbie Balenger
Projected Opening: Saturday, January 16
Bufalina joins Barley Swine on Burnet for its second location, with a larger dining room, kitchen, and oven. That all means executive chef Alexandra Manley will get to add new dishes to the menu. Don’t worry: the Neapolitan pies and wine will still be there.
Status: Now open
All Bufalina Coverage [EATX]

[Photo: Robert J. Lerma/EATX]

East Side King Thai Kun


Location: 11601 Rock Rose Ave., #100, The Domain’s Rock Rose
Major Players: Thai Changthong, Paul Qui, Moto Utsunomiya
Projected Opening: February 2016
Thai Kun's brick and mortar will bring an array of new dishes, like boat noodles, pork blood laarb, and whole fish, for fans of dining while surrounded by murals from Qui’s resident artist Peelander Yellow. The East Side King spot is opening up in The Domain’s Rock Rose district, which will bring 17 other bars and restaurants to the stretch by the end of this year.
All East Side King Thai Kun Coverage [EATX]

[Photo: East Side King Thai Kun/Official]



Location: 1401 W 6th St., Clarksville
Major Players: Christin Rowan, Drew Dunston, Annabelle Turner
Projected Opening: Today, Tuesday, January 12
Booze and sweets collide in Clarksville with Nightcap, where diners are encouraged to end their evenings with alcoholic milkshakes, plated desserts (even vegan brownies), cookies, and sweet cocktails. There are also less saccharine drinks and savory dishes, too.
Status: Now open
All Nightcap Coverage [EATX]

[Photo: Nadia Chaudhury/EATX]

Torchy’s Tacos


Location: 1822 South Congress Ave.
Major Players: Michael Rypka
Projected Opening: Tuesday, January 19
The South Austin flagship still can’t serve alcohol because of issues with the middle school across the street, but that’s not stopping the taco chain from opening this month in the former Fran’s Hamburgers spot. There will be many places to hoard tacos, including the indoor dining room, patio, and sidewalk seats.
Status: Now open
All Torchy’s Tacos Coverage [EATX]

[Photo: Nadia Chaudhury/EATX]

Bribery Bakery

briberybakery_mueller_nadiachaudhury_cropped.0.jpg Location: 1900 Simond Ave., Mueller
Major Players: Jodi Elliott
Projected Opening: Early February 2016
Elliott’s original intention for Bribery is fully realized with the second location of her beloved Wells Branch bakery. During the daytime, Bribery will serve delicious sweet and savory baked goods like pop tarts, kolaches, croissant sandwiches, and pies. Evenings mean cocktails and plated desserts.
Status: Now open
All Bribery Bakery Coverage [EATX]

[Photo: Nadia Chaudhury/EATX]

Veggie Heaven

veggieheaven_plywood_austin_cropped.0.jpg Location: 1611 W 5th St.
Major Players: Stacy Chen
Projected Opening: March 2016
Campus favorite Veggie Heaven shuttered in 2014, but will come back to life as a vegan-only establishment on West 5th Street thanks to owner Mei Chen's daughter Stacy.
All Veggie Heaven Coverage [EATX]

[Photo: Veggie Heaven/Official]


coast_rendering_austin_cropped.0.jpg Location: 360 Nueces St., Downtown
Major Players: Ruston Richardson, Karina Lopez
Projected Opening: March 2016
While longtime wine bar Mulberry shuttered, but the Paggi House alums are revamping the space into a seafood restaurant with Southern California and Gulf Coast inspirations. The wine cellar will remain, along with late night plates. Before the opening, Richardson is hosting a series of pop-up dinners to test out the menu.

All Coast Coverage [EATX]

[Rendering: Coast/Official]

Flyrite Chicken

flyritechicken_rendering_cropped_austin.0.jpg Location: 2129 East 7th St., Holly
Major Players: Kevin Warden, Quirino Silva, Dallas Miller
Projected Opening: Late January Early February 2016
The fast casual drive-thru will dish out fried and grilled chicken sandwiches made with New World Bakery bread, chicken tenders, fries, and shakes. There will be gluten-free and vegan-friendly options, along with beer and sparkling wine. The second location on Burnet Road will open later this summer.
Status: Now open
All Flyrite Chicken Coverage [EATX]

[Rendering: Flyrite Chicken/Official]


vinaigrette_rendering_austin_cropped.0.jpg Location: 2201 College Ave., South Congress
Major Players: Erin Wade
Projected Opening: Late February 2016
The New Mexico salad bistro’s Austin location will feature a "salad bar" out on the plant-filled patio, with kale fritters, beer-battered beets, and bell pepper fries. Wade is fully invested in Texas, too—she bought a farm in Bastrop to grow the restaurant’s produce.
Status: Opening Wednesday, February 17
All Vinaigrette Coverage [EATX]

[Rendering: Vinaigrette/Official]



Location: 3800 North Lamar, Rosedale
Major Players: David Birzon, Peter Gaudreau, Louis Cantu, Bryan Beneke
Projected Opening: March 2016
Brunch lovers will have a new destination to add to their list with the opening of the Denver-based chain dedicated to the weekend meal. The seasonal menu includes pancakes, eggs benedict varieties, breakfast pot pie, and brunch cocktails. The ’50s retro space will feature two patios. Look out for a second location across the river on South Lamar opening in May or June.
All Snooze Coverage [EATX]

[Photo: Snooze/Official]

Also tracking:

Hopdoddy will bring those line-worthy burgers to Round Rock on Monday, January 18.

Buzz Mill Coffee's all-hours fort is expanding to South Congress with the same lumberjack aesthetic and alcoholic infusions sometime soon.

— The West 5th sports bar with Texas fare, BaseCamp, includes former Uchi and Peached Tortilla chef Eric Kuypers at the head of the kitchen, unveiling this early spring.

— Get ready for hot pot when Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot opens in West Campus, date to be determined.

— Another day, another West 6th bar. This time, it’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (WTF for short), with an outdoor bar and lounge seating and sidewalk-facing counter window.

— East 6th will get a new bar and restaurant in early spring from the owner of Corner Bar: Revelry Kitchen Bar.

— Steakhouse chain STK's "female-friendly" STK Rebel is opening up sometime this year with rooftop space.

— Coffee nerds will rejoice when Patrick Pierce’s and Lorenzo Perkins’ Fleet Coffee finally opens with nonalcoholic coffee cocktails on 2427 Webberville Road.

— It'll be a tasty Valentine's Day when Lox, Box, and Barrel from Celtic Fare's Sebastien Caillabet opens with cured meat and fish on February 14.

Stay tuned for spring: Kyōten Sushiko (brick and mortar), Cane Rosso (Dallas expansion), Horseshoe Lounge (relocation), L'Oca D'Oro, Via 313 (second brick and mortar), Second Bar + Kitchen (expansion), Pizzeria Sorelina,Baby Greens, Prohibition Creamery, Gatto Nero, Enoteca Gattino, The Beer Plant, El Chilito (Burnet expansion).

Then summer: The Brewer’s Table, Easy Tiger (second location), Fresa’s Chicken Al Carbon (second location), Second Bar + Kitchen (Archer Hotel location).

Later in 2016: J.T. Youngblood’s Fried Chicken, Home Slice (second location), Musashino (relocation), Unknown Chinatown project, Tiny Boxwoods, Odelay and The Upper East Side, Chez Nada, Second Bar + Kitchen (Austin-Bergstrom Airport location), Sway (third location), Unknown Chameleon Group project (third project from Swift’s Attic/Wu Chow), Coconut’s Fish Cafe, Green Pastures (renovations), El Chilito (Manchaca expansion).

Not happening until 2017: Fareground, De Rigueur (Roosevelt Room’s revamp), Unknown McGuire Moorman Hospitality's Austin Proper projects.

And then 2018: St. Elmo Public Market.

Veggie Heaven [Closed]

1914 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705 (512) 457-1013 Visit Website

The Domain

11410 Century Oaks Terrace, , TX 78758 (512) 873-8099 Visit Website


1401 West 6th Street, , TX 78703 (512) 628-0144 Visit Website

Snooze A.M. Eatery

1700 S Lamar Blvd #301, Austin, TX 78704 (512) 428-8444 Visit Website