The Emmer & Rye team — under the expertise of executive chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph — is opening a new Caribbean restaurant. Canje will debut this fall in the East Austin neighborhood at 1914 East Sixth Street, which also means that the address’s previous tenant, Last Straw, is now permanently closed.
Bristol-Joseph, who was born and raised in Guyana, will create Canje’s menu based on his home country as well as other Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico and Jamaica. The name comes from the Guyanese national bird, the canje pheasant.
“To me, Caribbean food represents a combination of different cultures,” Bristol-Joseph shared in a press release, “Indian, Portuguese, African, English.” He added, “Since moving to Austin, I have been craving this food, and it is exciting for me to have the opportunity to share my version of it. My grandmother is going to be so proud.”
As for Canje’s beverages, cocktails will follow the same Caribbean roots, which means many fruit-based options. There will be natural wine as well.
Last Straw, the colorful bar that opened in August 2018, had been temporarily closed since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, while undergoing a short stint of selling to-go cocktails and housing Asian cocktail pop-up Daijoubu’s month-long market. The bar won Eater Austin’s bar of the year award in 2018.
With this sixth restaurant, Emmer & Rye formed its own hospitality company. Under the Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group umbrella are the New American grain-focused restaurant Emmer & Rye, fast-casual food hall stall Henbit, Israeli restaurant TLV, live-fire-focused Hestia, and Basque tapas bar Kalimotxo.