The end of the year is a time to reflect on — or at least aggregate — the stories that captured our attention this year. In 2019, the ever-shifting Austin restaurant landscape saw openings, closings, lawsuits, controversy, and fervor around a pop-up that never happened.
Without further ado, here are the most-read stories on Eater Austin in 2019.
10. Texas Chef Paul Qui Is Suing Business Partners
Problematic chef Paul Qui sued local restaurant group New Waterloo. Qui’s camp alleges the group sabotaged his new ventures in Miami, while New Waterloo claimed they were “not satisfied with his commitment to improving his behavior,” and as a result severed all ties. The events in question occurred two years after Qui was accused of assault in 2016, and then those charges were eventually dismissed.
9. Tyson’s Tacos Owner Was Under Fire For Alleged Controversial Political Tweets
The Internet found the Twitter account of Tyson’s Tacos owner Tyson Blankemeyer, which contained, for example, a tweet to Representative Ilhan Omar saying: “You are the virus Trump is the cure.” The tweets were deleted, hacking was alleged, and Internet wrath ensued.
8. That Pokémon Pop-Up Bar Isn’t Coming to Austin Anymore
A Pokémon-themed burger pop-up announced in August quickly had to cancel its nationwide tour in October due to the minor inconvenience of not securing licensing fees from Nintendo beforehand.
7. Pickle-Obsessed Southern Restaurant Opens in Austin
6. Classic Austin Restaurant Hut’s Hamburgers Closed
Hut’s Hamburgers, which first opened on South Congress in 1939, closed its longtime location on West Sixth Street. The restaurant will live on at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, and taking over the West Sixth building is an Italian restaurant courtesy of McGuire Moorman Hospitality.
5. Hopdoddy Opens a New Burger and Beer Restaurant
Billed as a more streamlined version of local burger bar Hopdoddy (meaning: a way to avoid the long lines of the South Congress location), Lil’ Doddy opened in Oak Hill this April to great fanfare.
4. Cult Favorite Japanese-French Bakery Brings Crepe Cakes to Austin
Japanese-French bakery chain Lady M Confections popped up in downtown Austin in January, with two flavors of whole pre-ordered crepe cakes that quickly sold out. Will this become an annual tradition?
3. New Thai Rolled Ice Cream Shop Lands on North Lamar
Thai ice cream shop Frozen Rolls Creamery opened at the right place (on North Lamar close to Whole Foods) at the right time (summer) to make a big splash.
2. Celebrity-Backed Burger Chain Wahlburgers Is Coming to Austin
The burger chain from brothers Donnie, Mark, and Paul Wahlberg announced an Austin location in January although unfortunately there have been no updates since then. Though there was no planned address, it was supposed to open this year.
1. Outrageous Milkshake Bar Opens Its First Texas Location
The over-the-top milkshakes at Yard Milkshake Bar attracted as many people online as IRL: lines from the first few weeks were reportedly quite long.