UT Austin Bans Tailgating During Football Games
As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues, Longhorn football games are still scheduled to take place at the University of Texas at Austin starting on Saturday, September 12. As part of the university’s mitigation measures, it is banning all public tailgating on and near campus for the entire football season. Likewise, the university will not host its usual pregame experiences with food and drinks, including the Bevo Blvd and Longhorn City Limits, which typically included a bar. To make up for that missing bar, the stadium will feature the Deep Eddy End Zone bar at Gate 8.
And yes, guests will be allowed in the stadium during games. It is limiting the seating capacity to 25 percent (the allowable limit for outdoor college sports games is 50 percent, per Texas Gov. Greg Abbott), which still means a crowd of 25,000 people that are ideally social distancing. Currently, there have been a total of 108 positive cases of COVID-19 among students this week as of Thursday, September 3. Campus reopened on August 20 and classes began on August 26.
Austin Food Nonprofit Expands
Local food nonprofit the Austin Food & Wine Alliance is expanding its coverage to the entire state. As the Texas Food & Wine Alliance (TFWA), the organization will include Austin, as well as San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas. This means it will extend grants in all four cities starting in 2021, as well as host vents and food-related educational programming.
The organization is forgoing in-person events. Instead, it is launching a new virtual cooking series, the Alliance Academy, where chefs and cocktail experts will show viewers how to cook dishes and mix drinks. The kits will be available for purchase for national shipping through Assembly Kitchen. The first event is on Thursday, September 17 with Nixta Taqueria’s Edgar Rico and Sara Mardanbigi, charcuterie company Casero’s Jackie Letelier, executive pastry chef and Emmer & Rye/Hestia/Kalimotxo/Henbit/TLV partner Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Anita Jaisinghani of Houston Indian restaurant Pondicheri, and Rico Torres of San Antonio restaurant Mixtli. The initial dish is the tomato tostada, available with or without cocktails, and a portion of all cooking kit sales will go to the TFWA.
The organization is also still holding its high school culinary conference, the Culinary Arts Career Conference, virtually in October, with a keynote from chef Alon Shaya.
Downtown Bar Closure
Downtown bar Dirty Dog Bar is closed permanently because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The lease for the 505 East Sixth Street bar expired at the end of August and owner Chris Weinheimer decided not to renew because there is “no end in sight,” according to the Facebook post and that “signing a new lease right now at a rate that won’t allow us to be profitable is just not an option that makes sense.” There are eventual plans to hopefully relocate the bar to a new address when bars are allowed to reopen fully.
Potential Downtown Bar Plans
Downtown bar Maggie Mae’s is looking to expand its building with two more stories atop the 323 East Sixth Street address, as reported by Towers. The bar presented the plan to the Historic Landmark Commission this week, and the department asked for some changes and will come to a decision next week.
Gluten-Free Virtual Dinner
Austin-based grain-free Mexican-American food company Siete Family Foods is hosting a virtual at-home dining event on Saturday, September 12. Participating restaurants, including Comedor, La Condesa, Loro, and Nixta Taqueria, will offer a to-go gluten-free dishe, that day, available for pickup from noon to 5 p.m. Each item will be accompanied with a live streamed musical performance by a local musician that night at 7 p.m. on YouTube. Afterwards, donations will be made to the Hispanic Impact Fund. Preorders can be placed online.