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New Food Hall Is Coming to Downtown Austin

Within the historic post office building

Claudia Taylor Johnson Hall
Claudia Taylor Johnson Hall
Wally Gobetz/Flickr
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.

Downtown Austin is set to get a second major food hall if plans for mixed-use development Block 71 are approved, according to real estate blog Towers. The proposal for the 1.75-acre area between West 7th, West 6th, Colorado, and Lavaca streets includes converting historic old post office Claudia Taylor Johnson Hall’s mail sorting room into the food hall space.

Architecture firm Page Southerland Page presented the food hall plans to the Austin Design Commission last week:

[I]f all goes well, [Claudia Taylor Johnson Hall] will become Austin’s next food hall, with “kiosk” versions of iconic local restaurants arranged around the edges of the room — similar to the pint-sized outposts of eateries like the Salt Lick BBQ and Second Bar & Kitchen you’ll find at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Downtown Austin is already set to get the city’s first proper food hall with Fareground. The Congress Avenue food hall will feature outposts of beloved Austin restaurants like Easy Tiger, Contigo, Dai Due (with a taco stand), and Kome, as well as a new spot from Emmer & Rye. Easy Tiger’s parent company ELM curated all of the food and drink vendors.

Block 71 will also feature a 36-story office tower with a ground-floor restaurant and outdoor plaza with food trucks. Page is working with developer Trammell Crow Company on the University of Texas-owned project. The architecture firm also worked on the 2nd Street District, Alamo Drafthouse’s Mueller theater building, and the Aldrich Street District.

This article has been updated to clarify that University of Texas owns the property, not University of Texas Austin.