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Austin Barbecue Restaurant Returns to Its Food Truck Roots

Plus, a Central East Austin coffee closes down, and more news

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A barbecue sandwich next to a glass of soda.
A barbecue sandwich from JNL Barbecue.
JNL Barbecue/Facebook
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.

Austin smoked meats restaurant JNL Barbecue is closing down its physical location within an East Austin market this week. Its last day of service inside the Upscale Market on 2027 East Cesar Chavez Street was on Sunday, January 28.

Co-owners and couple pitmaster Ben Lambert and Sarah Lambert announced the shutter in an Instagram post dated January 24. They explained that the business isn’t going away forever; rather, they’re going to reopen JNL Barbecue as a food truck parked at its previous home at Buzz Mill Coffee in the East Riverside neighborhood. This is no set reopening date as of now.

The Lamberts started JNL as a pop-up (Ben used to work at Franklin Barbecue) and then turned it into a food truck in 2019 at Buzz Mill on Shady Lane (which has since closed). Then they moved the truck to Buzz Mill on Riverside but then moved into the physical shared space on East Cesar Chavez in December 2022. That kitchen was previously home to La Barbecue before it moved into its standalone address nearby.

Austin coffee shop temporary shutter

Austin coffee shop El Tigre closed down over the weekend. Its last day at 1204 Salina Street, Unit B address in the Central East Austin neighborhood was on January 28. But don’t worry, it plans on reopening somewhere else on 12th Street soon.

Tracking Central Texas hotels with restaurants and bars news

International hotel chain CitizenM opened its first Austin location in the downtown neighborhood this month. The 617 Colorado Street space opened on January 19. Food- and drinks-wise, there’s the CanteenM which has various snacks, pizza, pastries, coffees, beers, wines, and cocktails. And then for guests, there’s a rooftop bar near the pool.

Out in Fredericksburg, a new resort opened with a restaurant, distillery, brewery, and winery. The Arch Ray Resort is found at 4160 East Highway 290. There’s the fine-dining restaurant 1894 Ranch To Table with meats from the family ranch such as Angus wagyu steaks, as well as beers, wines, and cocktails. Then there’s the Arch Ray Winery headed by winemaker Weston McCoury, which focuses on Texas wines in white, rosé, red, and dessert variations. The Ogle Brewery serves up a wide variety of beer styles from ales, lagers, IPAs, to stouts. And then finally, the Paul Bee Distillery distills many spirits like bourbon, vodka, gin, and rum. Then there’s an amphitheater, RV park, and conference center. Co-owners Sally Baxter and Stephen Baxter.

Tracking Central Texas drink events

Another season means it’s time for another wine passport event courtesy of the Texas Hill Country Wineries Association. This one is pegged to Valentine’s Day running from January 29 through Friday, February 23, where people who purchase the passes can get tastings and bottle discounts at participating wineries.

JNL Barbecue

2027 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, Texas 78702 (512) 839-9469 Visit Website

EL TIGRE COFFEE

1204 Salina Street, , TX 78702 (512) 748-9473 Visit Website

CitizenM [Austin]

617 Colorado Street, Austin, Texas 78701 Visit Website

Arch Ray Resort

4160 East Highway 290, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624 Visit Website

Buzz Mill Coffee

1505 Town Creek Dr, Austin, TX 78741 (512) 912-9221 Visit Website