Austin Restaurant Expansion
Austin-based mini-chain Texan comfort food restaurant Jack Allen’s Kitchen is opening its fifth location up in Cedar Park, as reported by Austin Business Journal. It will be found at 1345 East Whitestone Boulevard taking over what had been a location of national chain restaurant Logan’s Roadhouse, within the 1890 Ranch Shopping Center. Owner and chef Jack Gilmore plans on opening the restaurant sometime in the late summer.
Virtual Auction Benefiting Service Worker Mental Health Group
The Mike & Sherry Project, a charity that aims at helping Austin restaurant and bar service workers with low-cost mental health resources, launched a virtual fundraising auction this week. On deck are items from local restaurants and bars, such as several cooking classes at Mexican restaurant Suerte, a bread subscription to casual New Texan cafe Sour Duck Market, and a whiskey tasting at downtown bar Dumont’s Down Low. It began on Monday, March 22, and runs through next Monday, March 29.
Likewise, the organization is the Austin Marathon’s official charity partner, which means Texas-wide charity foundation the Moody Project will match up to $10,000 of donations. The group is collecting monetary donations as well.
Austin’s Small Business Grants Distribution
The city of Austin announced exactly how much money was given away to businesses through COVID-19-related grants this past year, since March 2020. These include:
- Austin Creative Space Disaster Relief program: $987,943 in grants to businesses including live music venues and arts nonprofits.
- Austin Economic Injury Bridge Loan Program: $645,000 in short-term, low-interest loans to 19 small businesses.
- Austin Live Music Venue Preservation Fund: $1.48 million in funds divided between 74 live music venues (the release notes that $3.6 million more will be given out in the spring).
Austin Chef in Bastrop
Chef Sonya Cote recounts how she and business partner and husband David Barrow came to open Bastrop restaurant Store House Market & Eatery and relocated farm Eden East in late 2020 for Texas Monthly
Austin Restaurant Collaboration
Central East Austin restaurant Nixta Taqueria is teaming up with South Congress omakase restaurant Otoko for two pop-up events. The first, which already happened on Tuesday, March 23, was a taco pop-up featuring dishes from chefs Edgar Rico and Yoshi Okai held at Nixta, which included a vegetarian taco and a mochi-churro ice cream sandwich. The latter is still available at Otoko’s sibling bar Watertrade this week, which is opened for seated timed reservations only. To come is a 10-course vegetarian omakase at Otoko on Monday, April 19 with two seatings at 5:30 and 8 p.m. All are available for dine-in service only.
Meal Distribution Service Helps Vaccinate Seniors
Austin Public Health is teaming up with social services organization Meals on Wheels Central Texas to vaccinate older, high-risk Texans in Travis County who stay in their homes. The APH Mobile Vaccination program launched as of Monday, March 22, and aims to continue weekly through April.
COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Live Events and Venues
Last week, Austin launched safety guidelines for events and venues during these pandemic times effective as of Friday, March 19. For indoor events and venues, there are recommended capacity limits. Outdoor events and venues require Austin Center for Events permits, which include a coronavirus mitigation plan.
Growing Austin mini-chain Bao’d Up opened its fifth location in mid-March in the Riverside neighborhood at 1920 East Riverside Drive, Suite 120 with takeout and delivery services.
Ghost Kitchen Expansion
Local sandwich restaurant mini-chain Austin Daily Press opened a ghost kitchen location at Kitchen United Mix as of March 9. The Wooten-located restaurant offers a selection of sandwiches, tacos, nachos, and sides for pickups and deliveries.
Though downtown spot Dive Bar closed last summer, Austin-based bar group FBR Management has taken over the space and reopened the bar as of March 15 at 1703 Guadalupe Street. The new general manager is Josh White, who worked in New York bars and venues such as Walkers, Pianos, the Standard hotel, and the reopened Tavern on the Green. There’s beer, cocktails, cheese/charcuterie, and roasted nuts available. The bar is open for dine-in service only; masks are required for customers and staffers; the space is operating at 99 percent capacity.
Austin Beverage Company Donations
Austin-based yerba mate company Clean Cause had donated $1,000,000 to help people in recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism in the form of over 2,000 rent scholarships. It’s part of the business’s goal of donating half of its profit to this cause.