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Campus Poke Restaurant Goes Viral on TikTok After UT Purchase Forces It to Close

Plus, the Driskill has a new owner and more news

A small building with a Poke Bay sign and a small patio.
The exterior of Poke Bay and Kung Fu Tea.
Erin Russell/EATX
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

After five years, campus poke spot Poke Bay is closing at the end of May, because the University of Texas at Austin has purchased the building to turn into campus property. The story of the restaurant’s closing has gone viral on TikTok after the owners’ daughter, Angelica Song, posted a tearful video on May 9 urging people to go visit the restaurant during its last month in business and lamenting that the university was taking over the building without offering her parents any kind of support. The video garnered over two million views and the restaurant sold out for several days. The other tenants of 2001 Guadalupe Street, which includes boba tea shop Kung Fu Tea, must also close when their lease ends in October. (Poke Bay is ending their lease early and does not have plans to relocate, as Song explained in a video her parents are ready to explore other ventures.)

The Driskill’s new owners

Landmark downtown hotel the Driskill has new owners as of this month. The hotel, which opened in Austin in 1886 at 604 Brazos Street, was purchased by Hyatt in 2013, but was recently sold to Dallas-based Woodbine Development Corp., Austin-based Pixiu Real Estate, and other investors as reported by CultureMap. Woodbine also developed (but no longer owns) Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in the Austin area. Pixiu is a part owner of the Littlefield Building next door to the Driskill, which was the site of the meltdown of Greek restaurant Simi Estiatorio. The historic hotel will remain part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt but renovations are planned for a future date, though details on those are not available.

Corn dog-focused food truck opens at the Thicket

There’s a new food truck focused on corn dogs at the Thicket food truck park at 7800 South 1st Street in South Austin. The Corn Dog Company, a Utah-based food truck franchise, opened in Austin in April with corn dogs (vegetarian and beef versions), cheese bombs, and deep-fried candy bar desserts like Oreos, Milky Way, and Snickers. Owner Marlee Gubler worked for the first Utah location in college and decided to open the Austin location as she missed the company’s corn dogs. The truck is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.

Update, May 24: This article has been updated the clarify the new ownership of the Driskill.

Driskill Hotel

150-172 Old Pecan Street, , TX 78701 (512) 439-1234 Visit Website

Poke Bay

2001 Guadalupe Street, , TX 78705 (512) 350-2419