New Texas Hard Seltzer
Lone Star Brewing is delving into the hard seltzer field this year with Lone Star Seltzer. The five percent ABV beverage is made with blue agave nectar in two flavors: agave-lime and agave-watermelon. There are six-packs of 12-ounce cans, as well as individual 19.2-ounce cans of the agave-lime option. The boozy drinks are available starting this month in the various retail stores across the state, and will be found at H-E-B starting in May.
Black Culinary Student Scholarship
Skillful pastry chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph — behind exemplary Austin restaurants Emmer & Rye, Hestia, Kalimotxo, Henbit, and TLV — created a scholarship program aimed at helping Black culinary students in Austin this year. He partnered with the Greater Black Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) and Austin Community College (ACC) to create the Bristol-Joseph Culinary Scholarship Fund. Two scholarships of $6,000 will be given out, intended for a full year of tuition to ACC’s culinary arts program, as well as for supplies, fees, and transportation to and from campus. It also entails monthly phone calls with Bristol-Joseph and a one-day stage at any of his restaurants. Applicants must already be full-time students who have been accepted or already enlisted in ACC’s culinary or pastry programs, have already gotten 24 credits, and are of need of financial aid. There is an interview and 2.5 GPA minimum requirement. Recipients can also participate in the GBCC’s financial management class during the same time. The Google Doc application can be sent to ACC department chair, professor, and chef Stephanie Herrington, with a deadline of Friday, May 14. Two scholarships will be given out by Friday, July 2.
New Canned Cocktail Crowdfunding Campaign
Three former staffers of temporarily closed Austin restaurant Pitchfork Pretty are aiming to open a new canned cocktail company, True Story. The restaurant’s former bar members Christian Kolouch and Thomas De La Garza and former general manager Alexander Dubey launched a Kickstarter to raise money for the project. The three decided to start the company last year while the restaurant was and continues to be temporarily closed. The focus is offering bar-quality drinks in cans — a tequila, a rum, and a vodka, mixed with additional ingredients such as black pepper, hibiscus, and thyme. The Kickstarter is seeking $50,000 to help them entice potential investors and manufacturers with samples, with the aim of launching in September. The campaign ends on Wednesday, April 28.
San Antonio Pop-Up Court
San Antonio art gallery Hopscotch announced a pop-up series that will benefit the San Antonio Food & Wine Alliance. Hop-Up is seeking Texas food businesses that are looking to potentially open restaurants in the city. The pop-ups will consist of two-month stints with a monthly rent of $1,000 (inclusive of electricity and water), which would go towards the nonprofit. Applications are being accepted now through Friday, May 7. The pop-up court is aiming to open in June.
Turkey Trot Fundraising
Last year’s ThunderClouds Subs Turkey Trot — which took place “virtually” as people ran the length of the course on their own during Thanksgiving — raised $120,000 for nonprofit Caritas of Austin. The race plans on taking place in person and virtually this year.
Sotol and Beer Collaboration
Driftwood distillery Desert Door created a barrel-aged sotol with neighboring brewery Vista Brewing. It’s part of Desert’s monthly barrel collaboration series. The resulting spirit is the Dark Skies Barrel-Aged Sotol, made with oak-aged sotol and a black pilsner. The name stems from a global initiative against light pollution. It’s available at the distillery’s tasting room via its webstore or in person starting on Thursday, April 8. The distillery is also throwing a sold-out paired dinner with on-site food truck Eden West that Thursday.
New Restaurant Opening
Omaha chain Flagship Restaurant Group opened a new restaurant, Plank Seafood Provisions, in the Domain as of March 29 for dine-in and takeout services. The restaurant focuses on serving responsibly-sourced seafood and meat through its partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. There are oysters, grilled seafood, seafood towers, and more, as well as weekend brunch. For now, takeout orders can be called in; the webstore will be launched later this month. The group also operates self-described “Tex-Asian” restaurant and bar Anthem on Rainey Street, and it will expand its Japanese restaurant Blue Sushi Sake Grill into the Domain later this month.
Pflugerville restaurant, bar, and entertainment center Austin’s Park and Pizza shortened its name officially to just Austin’s this month. There are social distancing measures in place. It’s also expanding with a new on-site sports bar and restaurant, REVL Social Club, later this spring, found at the same address, featuring curling courts and billiards, among other activities.