Twin casual Italian restaurants — Italian-American restaurant Sammie’s and pizzeria Favorite Pizza — are opening in downtown Austin this spring from local group McGuire Moorman Hospitality (MMH). Sammie’s will open at 807 West Sixth Street on Tuesday, April 27 for dine-in service, while Favorite will open at 801 West Sixth Street sometime in the following several weeks.
Sammie’s took over what had been longtime Austin restaurant Hut’s Hamburgers, which closed in October 2019. Favorite took over the address that housed 80-year-old shop Favorite Liquor & Wine, which also closed around the same time.
Sammie’s is meant to feel like an East Coast red sauce restaurant with full-service. The menu spans dishes such as clams casino, chicken and eggplant parmigiana, whole lobsters with garlic-lemon butter, dry-aged bistecca alla fiorentina, and an array of pasta from spaghetti and meatballs to cheese ravioli. The wine and beer lists lean Italian — there’s a house Chianti — and the cocktail menu includes sections dedicated to martinis and aperitivi. Desserts include cheesecake, tiramisu, cannolis, and a Neapolitan gelato sundae, alongside espresso martinis, frozen limoncello, and espresso.
The Sammie’s space kept a lot of details from its predecessor Hut’s, from the red-and-black checkered floors to the booths to photos of the original building owners, the Joseph family. There is indoor dining as well as a patio.
Favorite will offer pizza by the pie and slice, alongside subs, salads, and gelato. Drinks-wise, there’s draft beer, wine glasses, and frozen cocktails. The space features an indoor bar with seats and standing areas; there’s a wall dedicated to Queens, New York baseball team the Mets. It will offer both dine-in and takeout service, plus there will be a walk-up window with late hours.
The name Sammie’s stems from the building’s first occupant in 1939 from Sammie Joseph, fried chicken/burgers/beer joint Sammie’s Drive-In. In 1954, the space turned into a bar called Eli’s Lounge. It became Hut’s Hamburgers in 1969 when Homer “Hut” Hutson relocated his restaurant from South Congress. After the restaurant went through several owners, it was under co-owners Mike and Kim Hutchinson (who took over in 1981) that the restaurant closed because they wanted to retire.
The opening of Sammie’s brings Italian-American fare back to the street since the Hutchinsons also closed their nearby Italian restaurant Frank & Angie’s earlier in 2019 (the address is now home to Mexican restaurant Taquero Mucho).
The Joseph family opened Favorite as a retail liquor and wine shop in 1939, and decided to shutter the business in 2019.
Sammie’s hours are from 5 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and then from 5 p.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday. Lunch hours will be added later. Favorite’s hours are from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and then from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
This is MMH’s 18th and 19th restaurants, with 16 in Austin and one in Aspen. The group is working on a hotel in New Orleans, which will include a new coastal Italian restaurant San Lorenzo and the second location of its Vietnamese restaurant Elizabeth Street Cafe, opening in the spring.
- Sammie’s [Official]
- Sammie’s [Instagram]
- Favorite Pizza [Official]
- Favorite Pizza [Instagram]
- The Former Hut’s Hamburgers Spot Is Turning Into an Italian Restaurant [EATX]
- Classic Austin Restaurant Hut’s Hamburgers Is Closing [EATX]
- All Coverage of Sammie’s [EATX]
- All Coverage of Favorite Pizza [EATX]
- All Coverage of McGuire Moorman Hospitality [EATX]