— South Austin coffee shop Strange Brew was suddenly closed yesterday without any notice to its staffers or customers. Chronicle discovered that there was a notice on the door from its landlords stating "Notice of lockout for non-payment of rent." However, Strange Brew's booker Kacy Cowley said that the cafe will reopen today.
— Now that Monopoly is holding open calls for game piece suggestions, someone created a petition asking for a taco piece.
— Pinthouse Pizza is introducing crowler machines at both of the brewpub’s locations, so that customers will be able to bring its beers home with them (this doesn’t include guest beers).
— Carl's Jr. employees gathered at the Slaughter Lane location in protest against president-elect Donald Trump’s pick for labor secretary, the burger chain's parent company CKE Restaurants' CEO Andrew Puzder. He's against raising minimum wage.
— With an eye towards the upcoming White House administration, L’Oca d’Oro is celebrating female chefs and bartenders with a dining event on Wednesday, January 25. March on the Kitchen will feature dishes from Dai Due’s Abby Love, Barley Swine/Odd Duck’s Susana Querejazu, Weather Up’s Kristine Kittrell and others, as well as drinks from Contigo/Chicon’s Erin Murtagh and advanced sommelier Vilma Mazaite. Seatings for the $75 dinner (it’s an additional $40 for wine pairings) are from 5 to 10 p.m., and the proceeds will go towards SAFE Austin.
— San Antonio Express-News food critic Mike Sutter shared his taco love with NPR's All Things Considered. He talked about his year-long adventure of eating Austin tacos, and how he feels about embarking on the same journey in San Antonio, the qualities of a good taco, and his excitement over puffy tacos.
— More Austin chefs offer up their predictions for hot new food trends in 2017. Oasthouse Kitchen + Bar's Amir Hajimaleki thinks there will be more refined street foods, L'Oca d'Oro's Fiore Tedesco champions koji, and Boiler Nine's Jason Stude sees vegetables getting more attention.
— Movie theater chain AMC is taking over the former Regal Theater in Lakeline Mall. Its renovations to the space will include a bar, recliners, and an expanded food and drink menu.
— Thai Fresh will soon sell its gluten free pad Thai sauce in jars.
— Wheatsville Food Co-op is renovating its Guadalupe location starting in mid-January, wrapping up sometime in March. The grocery store will remain open during construction. Changes include adding more hot food areas, salad bars, and grab and go items, tapped beer and wine, grab and go items, and expansions.
— Emmer & Rye’s Kevin Fink teamed up with Pizzeria Vetri’s Marc Vetri for a collaborative pizza available until Sunday, January 22. The Torro pie comes topped with confit short rib, kale, hatch chili, taleggio, and mozzarella.
— Tito's Vodka is donating its online sales to several charities of the customers’ choosing. The lineup includes Austin-based Emancipet, American Red Cross, CORE, and others.
— Learn how to put together a bento box with Leanne Valenti of Bento Picnic.
— Austin Empty Bowl Project, the nonprofit cookbook containing recipes from Austin chefs, raised $46,000 for the Central Texas Food Bank and Meals on Wheels this year.
— K&N Management, the company behind Mighty Fine Burgers and Rudy’s Bar-B-Q, gave out college scholarships to 12 of its employees, totaling $12,000.
— Someone tried to rob a Wendy's in South Austin by attempting to enter through the roof of the fast food restaurant in December.