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East Austin German Beer Garden Closes for the Summer

Plus, Joe’s Bakery picks up its James Beard America’s Classic Restaurant Award, and more news.

A row of beers in front of a building with a sign reading “Koko’s.”
Beers at Koko’s.
Koko’s Bavarian
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

The East Austin German beer garden/brewery/restaurant co-founded by a bonafide Bavarian prince, Koko’s, is closing for the summer as of June 5. Co-partner Jesse Herman tells Eater that they’re going to work on a bunch of maintenance issues, upgrade its alfresco spaces, and more. He notes that the brewery space is going to still produce beer.

Koko’s opened in late 2021 by Herman, Konstantin Prinz von Bayern (the Bavarian prince) who goes by the name Koko, Charles Attal, Tim Love, and Nick Swerdfeger. The menu spanned sausages, schnitzels, and German-style beers. The 4715 East Fifth Street space had previously been home to brewery/New Texan spot the Brewery’s Table, which ran from 2018 to 2020.

Since then too, Koko’s opened locations in campus venue Moody Center as well as Palm Springs venue Accrisure Arena and Baltimore’s CFG Bank Arena. Herman shares that there are more expansions planned for the rest of the year.

Austin restaurant picks up James Beard medal

Even though no Austin chef or restaurant was a James Beard finalist this year, the Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop team went to the Chicago award ceremony to pick up their James Beard America’s Classic Restaurant Award earlier this week. The medal recognizes longtime historically significant restaurants across the country; these were announced in February.

Lamb dish winner

An Austin chef won the American Lamb Jam last month — where participating chefs across the country created special lamb dishes on their menus and a group of judges voted for their favorites. El Naranjo’s Iliana de la Vega won with her albóndigas de cordero, with Texas lamb, a bean sauce, jalapenos, and Mexican pepperleaf jam. As the winner, she donated $1,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.

Restaurant chain expansion coming attraction

California chain Vitality Bowls is opening a second location in the Austin area this year. It’ll be found in Bee Cave at 3702 Ranch Road 620, Suite 320 by franchisees Anshuk Saxena and Shereen Chand starting sometime in the summer. The restaurant offers açaí bowls, smoothies, juices, soups, salads, and paninis. The first greater Austin location is in Cedar Park.

Koko’s Bavarian

4715 East 5th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 428-4177 Visit Website


2305 East 7th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 472-0017 Visit Website

El Naranjo [South Lamar]

2717 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78704