Gay Bar Shutter
North Austin gay bar Bout Time 2 is closing permanently at 6607 North I-35 in the St. John area, according to its Facebook page and its GoFundMe campaign. “It was impossible to maintain our rent and we faced eviction,” the crowdfunding page bluntly stated. “With the mandatory closing of bars, no money was generated to pay our rent, imagine that. Landlords didn’t care.” Co-owner Tino Calderon had started the GoFundMe page in March to help support the bar’s staff and fund the what-had-been eventual reopening of the bar. Even though the bar is now closed, the bar is still collecting funds for its staffers through the crowdfunding site. Calderon and co-owner David Green opened the bar in 2012.
Thai Fresh Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19
South First restaurant Thai Fresh is now closed temporarily because an employee tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, May 7. That staffer had last worked at the restaurant on Thursday, April 30, after which they felt sick and stayed at home. The restaurant is aiming to reopen on Friday, May 22. The space will be cleaned during that time, and employees will still be paid as well.
Barbecue Hall of Fame Semifinalists
The Barbecue Hall of Fame semifinalists have been announced, and included in the group is Austin pitmaster Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue. The finalists will be revealed on Wednesday, May 27. Previous honorees include the late C.B. Stubblefield, founder of Stubb’s Bar-B-Q in 2019 and Snow’s BBQ pitmaster Tootsie Tomanetz in 2018.
New Sushi Restaurant Opening
A new restaurant opened in downtown Austin at the beginning of this month. Yoru Sushi is found at 207 San Jacinto Boulevard, Suite 202, the former home of Piranha Killer Sushi, which closed in early 2019. The restaurant offers Japanese dishes for lunch and dinner, such as sushi, chirashi, ramen, and tempuras. There’s limited dine-in service through reservations, as well as call-ahead takeout and Grubhub deliveries.
New Online Wine Shop
With the reopening of pizzeria Bufalina for pickup service this week, the restaurant also debuted a new standalone wine website, where people can order bottles of wine for pickups. Owner Steven Dilley originally bought the domain several years ago, because he had intended to open a physical wine shop. Instead, he decided to start an online version of that, since its current wine club has been successful so far. On deck at Bufalina Wine are almost 300 wines, broken up into categories ranging from fizzy to the color pink to reds.
Seafood Pop-Up Drive-Thru
Catering company and forthcoming seafood truck Huckleberry is hosting a drive-thru pop-up at Govalle brewery/restaurant The Brewer’s Table this weekend. On deck are all sorts of seafood dishes, from the Gulf coast platter, po’ boys, peelable shrimp, and caviar fries. Advanced orders can be placed online or day-of orders through the phone. Brewer’s is also offering beer to-go at the same time. The pop-up takes place on Saturday and Sunday, May 9 and 10, from noon to 5 p.m. each day.