Editor’s note: We understand It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of Austin’s restaurant and bar scene. We have kept you informed with our regular round-up of the most important food news.
Openings and closings
Cafe JosieOpened from farm to table by chef Charles Mayes in 1997, Clarksville’s American-style restaurant announced last week it would be permanently closed. Austin 360 reports that the restaurant shutdown was due to several factors, including the financial damage COVID-19 wreaked on the local restaurant industry. Cody Taylor, the former Cafe Josie server who worked its way up in 2012 to buy the operation for good, told the publication that the landlord was Larry McGuire of McGuire Moorman Hospitality, even though the restaurant had been making profits for the past four years for additions like Saturday brunch and “inaccessible” catering operation which the owner believes allowed Cafe Josie to stay afloat as its rent increased exponentially. Taylor’s time and energy are now flowing into his San Marcos Comfort Food Restaurant Industry, which opened in 2018.
Meanwhile, Pitchfork Pretty, a restaurant on the east side that opened in 2017 has ceased operations. In a letter, the team said they would pause operations and temporarily close the doors. They added that while they were “heartbroken” in making the decision, “it is not a goodbye, see you soon”.
Dessert company based in Austin Small cakes is asking the local community for help with the opening of the upcoming Westlake candy store, which was originally scheduled to open around Easter. Through the recently announced Pie-O-Neer initiative, the company hopes to raise the $ 25,000 it will take to offset the cost of the final expansion. “We are determined to open the shop regardless of the amount of money we collect,” said co-owner Amanda Wadsworth in a June 8 press release. “We have taken out a bank loan for the time being to offset the expenses, but hope that we can repay this contribution quickly with community contributions.” According to the press release, donations of any amount can be made to the Pie-O-Neer GoFundMe or by purchasing a limited-edition Pie-O-Neer bundle that includes some of the company’s most popular items as well as cheese straws. Pieces of pecan and an exclusive Pie-O-Neer T-shirt. The $ 100 packs are available now through June 30th and can be purchased from Tiny Pie’s website for collection from either the South Lamar location or Burnet. The upcoming Westlake store at 3736 Bee Caves Rd. Is expected to open later this month and will share a current location with Blenders & Bowls for “a food court-like experience.”
Popular Tex-Mex restaurant by the lake Hula hat Closed briefly on June 1st after an employee tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, and again on the evening of June 3rd when a second employee was diagnosed positive. “Within 48 hours, we were notified that 2 of our employees had tested positive for COVID-19,” said Hula Hut’s Facebook page. “We have found it prudent, proactive and responsible to temporarily close our restaurant. During this period, we will monitor the health of all employees and reduce the risk in our facility through appropriate cleaning. “
Based in Dallas Bishop Cider Co.The upcoming Austin arcade / bar area will open as soon as legally possible. Much anticipated Bishop Cidercade was due to open outside SXSW at Joe’s Crab Shack’s former location on Riverside Drive, but similar to the festival itself, the company’s plans have been postponed amid the global pandemic. While the room is reportedly operational, the company has made it clear that it is complying with current gambling hall restrictions imposed by Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas. Unlike restaurants and bars, there is currently no set reopening plan for arcades by the Texas government. Once opened, the Cidercade will feature 150 arcade games, plus pizza, wine, and cider specialties, including unique options like Sour Passion Fruit, Texas Tea, and Imperial Blood Orange.
Other messages and notes
St. Elmo Brewing Co. was among several breweries in Austin last week to announce their participation in Black is Beautiful, a nationwide beer collaboration conceived by the black-owned craft brewery Weathered Souls Brewing Co. The collaboration, announced on June 2nd on the San Antonio-based company’s Instagram page, invites participating breweries to develop Weathered Souls’ new imperial oatmeal recipe themselves and to donate the proceeds to local foundations who support police brutality reform and defense legislation. “As soon as we heard about the project, [co-founder Tim Bullock] and I was there, “St. Elmo co-founder Brian Winslow told CultureMap. In addition to donating to charity, the collaboration is going on (St. Elmo will donate 50 percent of the proceeds to Measure). The duo are looking forward to that Project promoted the brewing scene in San Antonio, where the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America 2020 was to take place in April until the event was postponed for health reasons nationwide. Craft fans pledged enough to keep more than 8 percent stout in the Brewery to Drink The Austin summer heat can expect St. Elmo’s Black is Beautiful to be released on draft and canned in July or August.
Amid the ongoing high profile protests in Austin against systemic racism and the use of excessive force by the APD Greater Austin Black Chamber has urged Austinites to support black-owned companies by posting a list of such occurrences on the group’s Facebook page. There are currently over 100 bookstores, tattoo parlors, and of course, restaurants on the list, including Aster’s Ethiopian Cafe, Sam’s BBQ, and Emoji’s Grilled Cheese Food Truck. Parties interested in adding a company to the growing list can do so by sending an email to [email protected]