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Thai Restaurant Sway Is Permanently Closed on South First

It looks like gastropub Hopfields is taking over the address

Congee from Sway
Congee from Sway
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.

Adored modern Thai restaurant Sway closed its original location permanently on 1417 South First Street in the Bouldin Creek neighborhood. This was first noticed by an eagle-eyed tipster, and then confirmed by a rep for the restaurant’s parent company New Waterloo. Sway South First had been temporarily closed since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic back in March 2020.

Taking over the South First address appears to be a second location of West Campus gastropub Hopfields, according to public construction permitting filed with the city of Austin. The permit for Hopfields Bouldin Creek (the name of the project), which was issued on December 11, 2020, calls for an “interior non-structural demo to commercial property.” Eater has reached out for more information; watch this space for updates.

Sway is known for its Australian-style Thai food served in a stunning modern open-space with big wooden communal tables. Popular dishes include the son-in-law (a braised pork shoulder dish with a crispy hard-boiled egg), the jungle curry, and the salt-and-pepper soft shell crab, among others.

At the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic in March, New Waterloo temporarily closed most of its restaurants, including all locations of Sway (the others in Rock Rose and Westlake). A month later, the Westlake one reopened for takeout service, while the other two restaurants continued to stay closed.

The New Waterloo rep confirmed that Sway South First was sold last year, something that the company was trying to do before the pandemic. The rep also didn’t have any updates for the Rock Rose location, which remains temporarily closed at this time. Recently, the Eater tipster noticed that Sway’s iconic neon flower signpost was removed from South First sidewalk in front of the restaurant.

Sway, which was a highly anticipated restaurant back then, opened in 2012 under founding executive chef Rene Ortiz. The chef left New Waterloo a year later. Several years later, the company expanded Sway quickly: Rock Rose in April 2018 and Westlake in November 2018. Currently overseeing Westlake Sway’s kitchen — which is open for dine-in and takeout services — is corporate executive chef Charles Schlienger.

Hopfields co-owners Lindsay and Bay Anthon opened the Guadalupe restaurant in 2011. The menu focuses on beers — with an exceptional tap list — and casual French pub fare such as the Nicoise salad, ratatouille, and crepes. The restaurant is currently open for indoor and patio dine-in and takeout services, under executive chef James Flowers.

The Anthons also operates far south Austin bar and music venue the Far Out with Pedro Carvalho. They had originally opened the 8504 South Congress Avenue as cocktail bar Nicolaza’s in February 2019, but changed the name and concept later that August.


3437 Bee Caves Road, , TX 78746 (512) 326-1999 Visit Website


3110 Guadalupe Street, , TX 78705 (512) 537-0467 Visit Website


1417 South 1st Street, , TX 78704 (512) 551-2430 Visit Website