The very last location of Southwestern Austin restaurant Opal Divine’s closed in the fall. The last day of Opal Divine’s Austin Grill within the Aiden by Best Western hotel at 2200 South I-35 in the Travis Heights neighborhood was on November 30. The Facebook post announcing the shutter notes that “a core of bar staff remains and is running the bar for the new tenants while they transition through a remodel.”
Opal’s dates back to 2000, when it was a restaurant dubbed Opal Divine’s Freehouse on West Sixth by co-owners Michael and Susan Parker. Then there was the second location in Penn Field on South Congress, which opened in 2005, and the third, Opal’s Divine Marina, in 2007. The downtown restaurant closed in 2013, with the hopes of relocating somewhere in the area, but that didn’t happen. Then the South Congress location closed in 2016. And then the Marina one closed in April 2019. The Opal Divine’s Austin Grill opened in June 2017, taking over what had been the hotel’s previous restaurant Blue Moon Bar & Grill.
Chain restaurant openings in the Austin area
National restaurant chain Shake Shack opened its latest new location up in Cedar Park this month. The 1905 East Whitestone Boulevard fast-casual restaurant and drive-thru opened on Tuesday, December 5. For its first day, the company will donate one dollar from every sandwich sale to nonprofit animal shelter Texas Humane Heroes.
Tracking Austin food specials
Brentwood barbecue restaurant Stiles Switch BBQ launched its annual 12 Days of Smoked Meats series, where it offers a different special each day leading up to near Christmas. It kicks off on Tuesday, December 5 with El Paso tacos (basically brisket and roasted chile flautas served in fried flour tortillas) made with Tex-Mex restaurant Eldorado Cafe chef Joel Fried. Others of note include the notorious chicken-fried beef rib, tamales, and more.
Cedar Park dessert shop the Fancy Marshmallow Co. is collaborating with Austin shop Nervous Charlie’s on a sweet bagel. The result is the Buddy’s Breakfast, where any bagel flavor can be layered with a hot chocolate-ish cream cheese, toasted vanilla marshmallow fluff, and sprinkles. It’s available at both of Nervous Charlie’s locations, the original in North Loop and the new Cedar Park one, as of December 4 through Sunday, December 31. The bagel proceeds will go towards Toys for Tots.