As is the tradition as we near the end of 2022, Eater asked a trusted group of friends, industry types, and local bloggers for their takes on the past culinary year in Austin. All answers will be revealed before the year ends — cut, pasted, (mostly) unedited, and in no particular order. Question number seven:
What was the most surprising news story in Austin in 2022?
Pat Sharpe, executive editor and food writer for Texas Monthly
In terms of restaurant news, I was thrilled that two Austin chefs won James Beard awards: Iliana de la Vega, of El Naranjo, for Best Chef: Texas, and Edgar Rico, of Nixta Taqueria, for Emerging Chef. Both restaurants serve contemporary Mexican food.
Chris Hughes, editor-in-chief, Austin Monthly
That McGuire Moorman Lambert Hospitality didn’t buy Nau’s Enfield Drug. I thought that was a given. And honestly, everyone gives them hell, but it would’ve been a lot better if they had. Now, it’ll just be more faceless condos.
Darcie Duttweiler, freelance writer and Eater contributing writer
Via 313 union busting. So disappointing.
Erin Russell, associate editor of Eater Austin
I 100 percent agree with Chris’s assessment — I’m not always the biggest MML fan but I would have loved to see their take on a soda shop.
Simi Estiatorio’s closing completely consumed three weeks of my life — it started with covering a GoFundMe for employees and ended with accusations at some of the most powerful investors in Austin (and owners of Austin FC). Truly a wild ride to report on.
The Texas French Bread fire was a shock — and its comeback is a reminder of the power of the Austin community.
Nadia Chaudhury, editor of Eater Austin
Not surprising, but the fact that Austin restaurant staffers are hardcore looking/working on unionizing. UNIONS FOREVER, from Via 313 to Alamo Drafthouse to Starbucks to the attempts at Tiff’s Treats.