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New Orleans Diner Sawyer & Co. Opens Two New Restaurants, One With Casual Healthy Fare and the Other With Tacos

Happy Foods is now open, and De Nada will open in October, both found in East Austin

A salad from Happy Foods
A salad from Happy Foods
Happy Foods/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.

Local hospitality company 2 Dine 4 Hospitality Group is keeping busy this year. The group opened a new restaurant and wine garden within its private space Swoop House — Happy Foods and Swoop Wine Garden — as of July in Govalle at 3012 Gonzales Street. Then, the company is expanding its airport-based taco truck De Nada with a physical restaurant in East Austin at 4715 East Cesar Chavez Street, opening sometime in October.

2 Dine 4 Hospitality Group is run by owner Stephen Shallcross. The company also operates retro diner with a New Orleans spin Sawyer & Co., and the food and concession operations at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s South Terminal, which includes the taco truck and the grab-and-go shop and market Get Set.

Happy Foods and Swoop Wine Garden are currently open for takeout and outdoor dine-in services. The food menu focuses on healthier dishes, made with locally sourced vegetables and meats. This means toasts, bowls, wraps, and salads, with gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options. As for the wine garden aspect and its drinks menu, available are cocktails, by-the-glass, and bottles, as well as six-packs of wine dubbed the Swoop Six. There’s also coffee.

As for its novel coronavirus safety measures, there is a plexiglass divider in front of the walk-up counter for in-person orders. Diners have to sit at their tables and will get text messages when the food is ready. Masks are required when inside of the building. Disposable utensils are being served, and the metal serving trays are sanitized after each use.

The alfresco space is also hosting Friday and Saturday evening three-course prix fixe meals, with optional wine pairings; as well as socially distanced dining events such as brunch. The kitchen will also host guest chefs every so often. The private event aspect of the address is still available, too.

Overseeing the food menu are Shallcross and chef Austin Ward. Overseeing the wine program is certified wine educator Greg Randle. Happy Foods’s hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and then from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. To-go orders can be placed online or in-person, and outdoor reservations-only dine-in service is available.

De Nada’s forthcoming physical restaurant will be found next door to Sawyer & Co. The menu is being developed by the 2 Dine team, led by chef Alex Amaro, who had studied at the Universidad del Valle de Mexico in Monterey.

On deck will be tacos with corn tortillas with fillings such as barbacoa, marinated and blackened cod, camarones pibil, confit chicken, carnitas, and spicy mushroom picadillo. The idea is to create tacos and family-style dinners that work well for dining in and takeout services. It’ll also feature a full bar designed by Half Step’s Chris Bostick, with a heavy focus on margaritas.

2 Dine’s company’s rep shared that March and April were “tough” for the Get Set and De Nada given travel restrictions at the time. However, in July and August there were “significant increases” in July and August, as people began to travel again.

Shallcross started 2 Dine 4 Hospitality in 1994, started Swoop House in 2008, opened Sawyer & Co. in 2014, and expanded with the airport businesses in 2018.

Happy Foods

3012 Gonzales Street, Austin, Texas 78702 Visit Website

Sawyer & Co.

4827 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702 (512) 531-9033 Visit Website

De Nada

4715 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, Texas 78702 512-615-3555 Visit Website