New Downtown Hotel Cafe
Forthcoming downtown hotel Thompson Austin is being accompanied by a second hotel from its parent company, Hyatt, to be found at East Fifth and Brazos streets. The smaller hotel, Tommie Austin, will feature an all-day lobby coffee shop and bar with on-site and takeout services. The coffee menu will use coffee from Dripping Springs roastery Greater Goods Coffee Co., and the bar will serve local beers and natural wine.
The Thompson will feature second locations of lauded Savannah restaurants the Grey Diner Bar and Grey Market (which will provide pastries for the Tommie coffee shop) from chef Mashama Bailey and business partner John O. Morisano, as well as a new restaurant from the prolific Chicago group Land and Sea Department. Both Tommie and Thompson will open this summer.
Asian Cocktail Pop-Up
Asian cocktail pop-up Daijoubu is taking over East Austin window bar and restaurant Wicky’s Walkup for an event on Wednesday, May 12, as part of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. The menu focuses on Viet-Cajun drinks and food, such as the Good Morning Vietnam, a frozen cocktail made with whiskey, cognac, Cafe de Monde coffee, condensed milk, coconut cream, ube, and pandan; the Tom Craw, where crawfish tom yum bisque is paired with a shot of sweet corn-infused mezcal, and more. The pop-up benefits Asian American and Pacific Islander nonprofit VAYLA New Orleans. Everything is available for in-person orders only starting at 6 p.m. until late or until everything is sold out. Items are available for takeout or on-site dining at Wicky’s sibling spot the Cavalier’s patio.
Asian-American Dish Collaborations
Austin delivery/takeout restaurant Tso Chinese Delivery teamed up with two other Asian-owned businesses for two collaborative dishes in honor of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. First, there’s the mandarin orange mochi doughnut with pickup bakery service Bom Bakeshop. The citrus doughnut is available in a two-pack with a chocolate-glazed mochi doughnut with rainbow sprinkles, available for $9. The second is a braised short rib rangoon with South Austin Korean restaurant Jjim BBQ (Tso co-founder Min Choe was formerly the CEO of Jjim’s parent company CKN Hospitality). The $10 dish stuffed Jjim’s short rib and Tso’s crab rangoon mixture into wonton wrappers. Each dish is available through Tso’s webstore for pickups and deliveries, with $2 of every item going towards Tso’s charitable program Tso Giving, through the end of May.
Austin Theater Fundraiser
Nonprofit Austin Film Society’s indie theater, AFS Cinema, is gearing up to reopen in the summer, and in order to help that happen, the organization launched a crowdfunding campaign. The AFS Cinema’s Next Picture Show campaign is seeking $150,000 for staff, projection equipment, updating air filters, marketing, and other COVID-19 safety measures. There are perks for people who donate, including invitations to events and T-shirts. It runs through Thursday, June 17.
San Antonio Openings
Two San Antonio restaurants — Vietnamese restaurant House of Má and tiki cocktail bar Hugman’s Oasis — have opened this spring. House of Má opened as of April 30, Hugman’s Oasis as of May 7, and both are found at the same address of 135 East Commerce Street. House of Má co-founders are Louis Singh and Eric Treviño, who run Singh’s Vietnamese. The beverage director for both the restaurant and the bar is Jeret Peña, formerly of Esquire Tavern and now the owner of the Boulevardier Group.
Dripping Springs brewery Suds Monkey Brewing Co. moved into a new location, as reported by Community Impact. The brewery is now found on 12024 West Highway 290 as of April 28. The larger space features indoor and outdoor seating.
Texas Small Business Week
Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared that Sunday, May 9 through Saturday, May 15 is Small Business Week in the state, which he announced with a video filmed at Austin restaurant Juan in a Million with co-owner Juan Meza.
Texas Seltzer Awards
Austin hard seltzer company Blue Norther won a bunch of medals at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In the hard seltzer category, the company’s wild blackberry flavor won a gold medal, the prickly pear a silver, and the agave-lime a bronze medal.
Update, Tuesday, May 11, 11:02 a.m.: This article, originally published on Monday, May 10, has been updated to reflect the nature of Tommie Austin’s coffee shop.
Update, Tuesday, May 11, 4:47 p.m.: This article has been updated to correctly reflect Min Choe’s role at CKN Hospitality.