Public Market Tenant Shuffle
Two of the intended tenants of that long-forthcoming St. Elmo Public Market have dropped out: Dripping Springs brewery Family Business Beer Company (co-owned by Supernatural actors Jensen and Danneel Ackles and Gino Graul with head brewer Nate Seatle) and what was going to be a brand new concept from Austin-born shop Lick Honest Ice Creams co-owners Anthony Sobotik and Chad Palmatier. The St. Elmo space would’ve been Family Business’s second overall and first Austin proper location. However, Graul told Eater that the COVID-19 pandemic halted their plans. They still intend on opening an Austin taproom at some point. Lick had been working on a brand new concept (not just an ice cream shop) for the market. A rep noted that that the entire space is leased out. The far south Austin market is still planning on opening at some point this year.
Mark Jenson, one of the co-owners of Galino brewpub ABGB, died on June 9 of a heart attack, as reported by Statesman. He opened ABGB (aka Austin Beer Garden and Brewing Company) in 2013 with co-owners Jill Knobloch, Amos Lowe, and Briant Peters. He booked the program. There’s a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to help his family.
Restaurant Staffer Fundraiser
Arlo Grey staffer Pierce Martin is currently hospitalized due to a motorcycle accident in early June, as shared by Arlo owner and chef Kristen Kish. There’s a GoFundMe campaign to help his family financially. Likewise, Olamaie pastry chef Jules Stoddart is also raising money by raffling off a baked goods package of a dozen kolaches and a dozen cookies. Each entry is $3 through her Venmo, national shipping is available, and the deadline is through Wednesday, June 23, with the winner announced on Thursday, June 24.
San Antonio Vegan Chicken Restaurant Expands in Austin
San Antonio-based vegan fast-food mini-chain Project Pollo is opening its second Austin location this month. The new restaurant will be found at 2438 West Anderson Lane, Suite A-1 in North Shoal Creek starting on Tuesday, June 22. The menu features vegan chicken in sandwiches, wraps, and tenders, along with sides like crispy potatoes with cashew queso and mac and cheese. Owner Lucas Bradbury started Project Pollo as a food truck in San Antonio in the fall of 2020, and grew with several locations in the city quickly, followed by the first Austin one in Central East Austin that December. He wants to open 100 locations by 2024; the next location will open in Dallas in July.
Pizza Chain Opening
National Detroit-style pizzeria chain Jet’s opened its third Austin location in the South Lamar neighborhood on 3003 South Lamar Boulevard as of June 17.
Les Dames Applications and Film Screening
Applications are now open to join the Austin chapter of the Les Dames d’Escoffier, the nonprofit that supports women in the food, drinks, and hospitality industries in the area. Requirements include at least five years of experience in said fields, with the expectation of participation and engagement in its efforts. The deadline is Thursday, July 15 at midnight.
The nonprofit is also hosting an outdoor screening of Wonder Woman on Thursday, July 8 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at Pioneer Farms in northeast Austin at 10621 Pioneer Farms Drive. People can set up on the ground or watch from their cars, plus there will be picnic baskets, snacks, wine, beer, and cocktails for sale. Car reservations are $50, individual lawn reservations are $15.
Temporary Shutters for Renovations, Part Two
Austin Tex-Mex chain Trudy’s is going through some temporary closures for renovation purposes. First, the South Star restaurant on 901 Little Texas Lane in the Sweetbriar neighborhood is now closed, (a taco truck is operating during that time) with a planned reopening in late June. When that happens, the North Star location on 8820 Burnet Road in North Shoal Creek will close next with a planned reopening in late July. During this time, the Texas Star location on 409 West 30th Street in North Campus, which had been closed since a fire in late 2019, will reopen in late summer.
The mini-chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2020, and was up for auction that summer. Private investment firm Hargett Hunter Capital Management, LLC won the auction for the overall company (which includes South Congress Cafe), though Uchi co-owner Daryl Kunik actually bought the chain’s Four Star Boulevard location (which had closed in 2019).
El Paso Chefs Dinner
The Texas Food & Wine Alliance is bringing back its wine and dinner series with its first in-person event since the pandemic. This first event highlights El Pasoan chefs, including host site Fairmont Austin’s Andre Natera, Suerte’s Fermín Núñez, Alan Delgado (a former Austin chef who is now cooking at Brooklyn restaurant Oxomoco ), and El Paso-based Andrés Padilla of the Plaza Hotel in Pioneer Park, among others. The $250 family-style dinner with wine pairings takes place at Fairmont Austin restaurant Garrison on Sunday, July 11 from 5 to 10 p.m.
Austin Hard Seltzer
Austin sour brewery Blue Owl is stepping into the hard seltzer ring this month. Its two initial flavors are the mango and peach daiquiri and the mojito. Six-pack cans of both flavors are available in its taproom now, with retail availability starting on Friday, June 25. The mango-peach is also available in draft form from the taproom, with the mojito starting on Thursday, June 24. The new alcoholic beverage line is part of the brewery’s Seltzers for Shelters program, where they will be donating ten percent of those seltzer sales to Community First Village, Community Works, and Mobile Loaves & Fishes.
Burrito Chain Expansion
Austin-based chain Freebirds World Burrito plans on expanding a lot in the next five years, with a bunch of new locations throughout Texas this year.