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Cheer Up Charlie’s Owners Are Bringing Back Shuttered Bar Rio Rita

A new French restaurant is opening in Dripping Springs, plus more news

Rio Rita’s new home
Rio Rita
Rio Rita/Facebook
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.

Central East Austin Bar Comes Back
Cheer Up Charlie’s owners Tamara Hoover and Maggie Lea are now also the owners of Central East Austin bar Rio Rita (which closed earlier this summer), according to the Chronicle. The bar, which will still keep its name, is aiming to reopen sometime in late December.

Rio Rita owners Donya and Randall Stockton had left a note on the door of Rio Rita in late August promising that the bar would open after “repairs and remodeling,” which never happened. They told the Chronicle that figuring out the new lease “took longer than expected,” but they were also trying to sell the bar at the same time.

The Stocktons, who now live in Oaxaca, now don’t own any bars in Austin, besides a partial stake in half-brother Bill Hankey’s nearby bar King Bee, as Chronicle reported.

French Restaurant Plots Dripping Springs Opening
A new French restaurant is aiming to open in Dripping Springs come spring 2020. Le Vacher is helmed by executive chef and owner Jacob Euler. Expect French fare with Texas ingredients for dishes like potato casserole, loads of fries, sous-vide meats, bread, and wine. Euler is from Washington, D.C., where he studied at the now-closed L’Academie de Cuisine, and worked at various restaurants in the northeast and Las Vegas, including the MGM Grand. The name is French for “the herdsman.” The full-service restaurant will be found on 136 Drifting Wind Run, Suite 101.

A table of dishes on plates and pans.
French dishes from Le Vacher
Julia Keim

Wine Conference Update
Wine writer Alice Feiring is no longer the keynote speaker at next year’s Wonder Women of Wine Conference (WWoWC). This is because of her what the organization deemed as an “unsupportive” response to one of the women who accused rising star sommelier Anthony Cailan of sexual assault, according to a statement.

As described in the New York Times earlier this month, one of the women, Raquel Makler, told Feiring what had happened with Cailan and asked for advice. Feiring’s response to not go public with the information and that “[i]t is up to us to learn to say no to unwanted sexual advances.”

Regarding that, WWoWC wrote: “While we do not condone Feiring’s initial reaction, we feel that attention has been drawn away from the real matter at hand: Cailan and his behavior [...] We feel that we have an obligation to facilitate a larger conversation about the divide among women in the wine industry from different generations. A divide that we feel is counter-intuitive to productive, meaningful dialogue and to our overall mission of achieving gender equality.”

As a result, WWoWC won’t have a keynote speaker anymore during the March 2020 conference.

Classic Tex-Mex Dishes Live on Elsewhere
Juan Guerra, the former manager and chef of now-closed Tex-Mex restaurant El Azteca, has been bringing back some of the longtime restaurant’s dishes at his new place of employment: Central East Austin bar 8 Track, according to Austin 360. This includes enchiladas, queso, with carne guisada, tortilla soup, tacos, etc. to come later. Guerra is also the founder’s grandson. El Azteca opened in 1963 and closed in 2016.

Rio Rita, 1203 chicon street, Austin Texas

8 Track

2805 Manor Road, , TX 78722 (512) 358-7870 Visit Website

Le Vacher

136 Drifting Wind Run Suite 101, Dripping Springs, TX 78620 Visit Website