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Austin Motel Is Opening a Tex-Mex-Influenced Diner on South Congress

Joann’s is courtesy of McGuire Moorman Hospitality and Bunkhouse Group

Austin Motel’s iconic sign
Austin Motel’s iconic sign
Bunkhouse Group [Official]
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.

Austin Motels new restaurant in South Austin has a name and menu focus: Joann’s will serve diner fare with a Tex-Mex influence through an all-day menu. The restaurant is set to open on 1220 South Congress Avenue sometime in the late summer.

Joann’s is a collaboration of the hotel’s managing company Bunkhouse Group and Austin restaurant powerhouse McGuire Moorman Hospitality. The name is in honor of Bunkhouse owner Liz Lambert’s mother.

The corner space on South Congress and West James Street was originally home to Snack Bar, the motel’s longtime restaurant, which shuttered in the fall of 2016 by owners Bethany Andrée and Karl Gilkey. Bunkhouse turned the patio of the vacated space into cocktail bar Fine Foods and added a food trailer, Jo’s Burger Box, in April 2017, coinciding with the motel’s renovations. Both quickly closed in November 2017.

Joann’s will keep the bones of its predecessors with both indoor and prime patio space.

Bunkhouse also operates the nearby Jo’s Coffee, Hotel San Jose, and Hotel Saint Cecilia, along with hotels in Marfa, San Antonio, Mexico, and San Francisco. The company is also opening Hotel Magdalena across the street along Academy Drive.

With McGuire Moorman Hospitality, co-founders Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman oversee eight restaurants, including June’s and Perla’s on South Congress. The company just expanded into Aspen with a second location of Clark’s Oyster Bar. It will also run the food and beverage programs for upcoming downtown hotel and residence project Austin Proper, which will include restaurants and a coffee shop, opening in early 2019.


1220 South Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78704