After closing tentatively at the end of last year, Song La was able to reopen for business this month. It reopened at its usual address within the Thicket Food Truck Park as of January 14. Co-owners Aleksandr Karpets and Sun-Yun Yang said that they were closing in December because they were “trying to figure out a way to stay in Austin,” according to the Instagram post. Yang told Community Impact that they “resolved the living situation.”
Song La’s hours are from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and then from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. Takeout orders can be placed online.
And then T-Loc went on vacation starting on December 4 — though it served at the Trail of Lights throughout most of December — and it will reopen Thursday, February 9 at 5000 Burnet Road.
Permanent restaurant and truck closures
Tex-Mex barbecue truck Valentina’s closed down its burger-dedicated truck Cash Cow Burgers in Buda as of January 16. The Instagram post notes that they’ll “be back” in the Texas town. Pitmaster and owner Miguel Vidal opened the truck at the Memorial Mini Golf & World War II Museum in September 2021, focusing on his stuffed burgers.
Dripping Springs French restaurant Le Vacher is closing this month. Its last day of service at 136 Drifting Wind Run, Suite 101 will be on Sunday, January 29. Owner and executive chef Jacob Euler opened the restaurant in August 2020.
Temporary restaurant closure
Open call for culinary scholarship applications
The Austin chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier is opening up its applications for its annual scholarships. The organization is looking for woman-identifying people who are looking to learn and/or expand their expertises in the food/restaurant/drinks/related industries with educational programming, certifications, etc. Categories range from beverage professional to culinary students. The deadline is February 10 with recipients announced sometime in March.
Texas food and drinks culinary grant winners
Texas Food & Wine Alliance announced the winners of its annual grant program this week, giving out $107,500 in total. This includes Austin’s Boggy Creek Farm, Driftwood’s Vista Farm at Vista Brewing, Austin’s Jamaican patties and pie farmers stand Tierra Todun, South Austin coffee roasting space Rising Tide Roast Collaborative, Bake Austin’s Pascal Simon, food truck Community Vegan, Austin bakery pop-up Comadre and Panadería (whose owner and chef Mariela Camacho is a brand new James Beard semifinalist), among others.
Austin-based burger chain Mighty Fine opened its seventh location in Dripping Springs as of January 23. The new location is found at 165 Hargraves Drive, Suite T100 restaurant. There are impending locations set for Hutto and Kyle.
Austin theater robbery
Austin drive-in theater mini-chain Blue Starlite was robbed in mid-January. Owner Josh Frank posted on Instagram that “80 percent of [its] operations equipment downtown was stolen in the night by a well-planned heist,” noting that its four projection trailers were broken into. There’s a donation site to help the theater recover.
Tracking Austin events
New York City bar the Dead Rabbit is previewing its forthcoming Austin location with a pop-up at Nickel City. It’ll serve up its Irish coffee. It takes place today, Wednesday, January 25 from 7 to 10 p.m.
The downtown location of Taquero Mucho is hosting a special event for Jennifer Lopez’s new movie Shotgun Wedding. On deck will be a themed drink in honor of the actor, pink-colored tacos, and music. It takes place today, Wednesday, January 25 from 6 to 9 p.m.