Now-gone downtown Austin restaurant Hut’s Hamburgers, which closed on Sunday after 80 years of service, is being turned into an Italian restaurant by local group McGuire Moorman Hospitality, as reported by Austin 360, set to open at 807 West 6th Street in fall 2020.
The group is also going to close Hut’s downtown Austin next-door shop Favorite Liquor & Wine by the end of the year, turning it into a pizzeria called Favorite’s Pizza. The 801 West Sixth Street restaurant will serve pizza and slices for takeout and delivery whenever it opens in 2020.
And, not to be done: MMH is also turning the building that housed South Congress restaurant Little Brown & Barrel (which seemed to have closed without a word this year) into a sushi restaurant tentatively named Neighborhood Sushi, to be found on 1716 South Congress Avenue sometime in spring 2020.
Sammie’s will function as an Italian-American restaurant, or as MMH co-founder Larry McGuire described to the publication: a “red-sauce Italian restaurant.” He was inspired by Los Angeles old-school Italian-American restaurant Dan Tana’s. Teased dishes include:
chicken and veal Parmesan, bistecca alla Fiorentina from a wood grill, housemade pastas and even housemade wine served in jugs
The choice of an Italian-American menu is also interesting, given that Hut’s co-owners Mike and Kim Hutchinson had closed their nearby Italian restaurant Frank & Angie’s earlier this year. (That space is being turned into a taqueria from Gabriela’s Downtown, opening in November.)
The name Sammie’s is a reference to the 1939 burger drive-thru, opened by Sammie Joseph (whose family still owns the West Sixth properties). Mike Hutchinson reached out to McGuire to see if he wanted to take over the restaurant’s lease, and he did, signing a 25-year lease.
Across the river, Neighborhood Sushi is being described as a “no-frills sushi restaurant” in the Bouldin neighborhood. Also curiously, it’ll be found on the same stretch of South Congress as Japanese restaurant Lucky Robot and upscale omakase spot Otoko.
MMH is also gearing up for the openings of its restaurants, cafes, and bars within downtown Austin hotel and condo building Austin Proper, whose openings will roll out into the spring. There’s one focusing on Israeli and Turkish fare, a casual coffee shop with falafel and rotisserie, a Mexican restaurant with wood-burning grills, and a cocktail bar, as Eater reported earlier this week.
During all of this, MMH wine director Ryan Arnold is currently on a leave of absence from the company because a Chicago co-worker alleges that Arnold sexually assaulted her in late 2018 during their employment at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises.