Chicago restaurant group Land and Sea Dept. — behind famed bars and restaurants including tropical bar spot Lost Lake — is opening its first Texas restaurant this year. The unnamed restaurant and bar will be found in the forthcoming downtown Austin hotel the Thompson on 506 San Jacinto Boulevard sometime this summer.
The restaurant will be an entirely new project for Land and Sea Dept., as shared by co-partner Peter Toalson, involving food, drinks, and outdoor spaces. A press release from the hotel notes that it will be found on the fourth floor with a terrace.
Along with Lost Lake, Land and Sea oversees a whole bunch of Chicago restaurants and bars: fried chicken and boozy slushie restaurant Parson’s Chicken & Fish (with multiple locations, including one in Nashville, Tennessee), formerly Michelin-starred whiskey restaurant/bar/inn Longman & Eagle, bar and restaurant Lonesome Rose and accompanying basement bar Golden Teardrops, and four places in the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel: restaurant Cherry Circle Room, lobby bar Drawing Room, bar with bocce and table activities Game Room, and small cocktail bar Milk Room.
The Thompson’s other restaurant tenants were announced earlier this year: expansions of famed Georgian chef Mashama Bailey’s laudable restaurants the Grey Diner Bar and the Grey Market.
Opening in Austin made sense for the group, according to Toalson. “Land and Sea Dept. has a long-held love for Austin,” he says, noting that one of the founding partners Jon Martin lived in the city for nine years and that the group had worked with Austin-based businesses before, including Franklin Barbecue and hospitality company Bunkhouse Group.
Teaming up with Thompson was appealing because it gave the Land and Sea team — Toalson along with co-partners Cody Hudson, Jon Martin, and Robert McAdams — the chance to work with the hotel group again. The company also runs art shows, concerts, and has its own carpentry company, Mode.
This isn’t the first recent Chicago company delving into Austin. Extensive Chicago-based hospitality group Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises opened its first Texas restaurant last fall, an expansion of its Mediterranean restaurant Aba. Chicago-based third-wave coffee roasters Intelligentsia Coffee opened its first Texas cafe in the summer of 2019.