Austin Pizza Restaurant Fire
Austin mini-chain Southside Flying Pizza’s South Lamar location caught on fire last week, causing damage to the exterior storefront, according to the Austin Fire Department. The cause isn’t known at this time. Since the restaurant cannot open just yet, it’s serving out of a trailer outside of the address for now.
Leander dog park and bar Dog House Drinkery is closing forever because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. “Due to COVID, and its devastating effects on small businesses,” writes co-owner Natasha Muniz on the official website, “I am not able to remain open. I have tried so hard to make it work so as not to disappoint our patrons and have my own dreams fail but my individual efforts were not enough without further compromising my own livelihood.” Its last day of service will be on Sunday, November 29. The park/bar opened in 2012 by founder Melissa Barton, who sold it to Muniz and Jodie Hooks in 2018.
Financial Relief for Music and Hospitality Workers
Red River Cultural District reopened its application process for the Banding Together ATX relief grant program. This time, the nonprofit will seek to give away up to $100 of H-E-B gift cards to music, service, and hospitality workers affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic in the greater Austin area. People who have previously received funds can still apply. It’s looking to give away a total of $45,000. The deadline is Friday, December 18. The nonprofit is also accepting donations to fund its efforts.
City Relief Might Be Too Late
In related news, Austin announced that applications for its financial relief packages for music venues impacted by COVID-19 will begin in January 2021. People in the live music industry in the city are upset over this delay and the red tape involved in the applications, as they expressed during a press conference last week, as reported by both KUT and Chronicle. “These venues just need the funds now,” says Jeannette Gregor to KUT, one of the organizers who had worked at the Mohawk. “They need something to hold them over, and they can’t just wait for another month or two months.”
Movie theater and restaurant chain Flix Brewhouse temporarily closed down all of its locations for now because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. “Unfortunately, the negative impacts of this third major surge on moviegoing frequency and the global availability of first-run film,” notes the Facebook post, “coupled with the lack of federal coronavirus relief for hard-hit businesses like independent cinemas are presently insurmountable obstacles.” The business pushes Congress to give our relief to movie theaters and other like-hospitality ventures. This began in mid-November and includes the Round Rock location, which had opened in 2011.
The Austin chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier is running a paella fundraiser for its scholarship program. There are two paella options, the Valenciana with chicken and seafood, and the vegetarian, cooked by Paellas, Tapas, and More founder Fer Candil and Quality Seafood owner Carl Huntsberger. The deadline for preorders is Saturday, November 28, with pickups at Quality Seafood on Tuesday, December 1 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Taiwanese Holiday Pop-Up
Austin blogger Jane Ko is extending her Taiwanese pop-up at fast-casual restaurants TeaHaus and 101 by Teahaus with a new holiday-themed menu. On deck’s an array of hot pots (Korean army stew, Japanese sukiyaki, and Taiwanese beef noodles) available for dine-in and takeout orders, the latter with a full setup. There are also boba drinks (hot and frozen hot chocolates, eggnog) and bubble waffles (peppermint bark). Its hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, everything is available for takeout and dine-in, and there is no end date.
Austin Food Pop-Up’s Thanksgiving Plans
One of the co-founders of Austin-based Asian-American food pop-up group Gan Bei Gals, Gabby Phi, shared her Thanksgiving plans with the New York Times last week. She’s hosting an online Thanksgiving cooking class and brunch centered on crispy banh xeo and then will drive to Houston.
Bao Into Bubble Tea
Austin bao mini-chain Bao’d Up is now in the bubble tea game with its new venture, Bubble House. The bubble teas — with options like matcha, milk teas, pumpkin spice, and a mango-Thai tea — are available at each of Bao’d Up’s locations as well as ghost kitchen hub Kitchen United Mix.
The ownership group of Austin-born restaurant chain Torchy’s has expanded to include equity firm general Atlantic. The deal was approximately $400 million. The rest of Torchy’s owners include D1 Capitals, T. Rowe Price, Lone Pine Capital, and XN. Founder Michael Rypka and the original owners of Torchy are going to “reinvest as individuals,” according to the press release. Now, it plans on expanding into 10 more states within four years.