North Austin Vietnamese-Texas barbecue restaurant Smokin Beauty is closing. Its last day of service on 11806 North Lamar Boulevard will be on New Year’s Day on Sunday, January 1, 2023.
However, co-owners Thao Phan and Matt Roth are holding onto the address and turning it into a new pub around the same time. Walnut Creek Pub will open sometime during the first week of January 2023, tentatively Friday, January 6.
The couple decided to close Smokin because it was “a labor-intense process requiring a lot of people in the kitchen,” as they wrote in an email to Eater. “With the rising cost of labor as well as the rising cost of food, after paying payroll plus the bills, there really isn’t anything leftover. So we’re pivoting with a simpler menu to streamline things.” Phan grew up in the neighborhood, so this is their way of still offering something to the area.
Walnut will offer Austin beers and mixed alcoholic drinks, alongside American pub food like chicken wings, chicken sandwiches, loaded fries, and fried pickles. They’ll also set up televisions for sports. Despite the change, the pair plan on offering smoked meats on occasion in the future. including briskets, ribs, sausages, and pork bellies.
Phan and Roth opened Smokin in August 2020, offering sandwiches and banh mi with barbecued meats, as well as cocktails. Before that, they operated food truck Ted’s Farm.