Austin's 2017 proved to be another eventful dining year, and the coming year promises to bring just as much delicious action. Consider adding each of these anticipated openings to your growing list of food resolutions.
Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden (CCBG)
ETA: January 8
Partners Paul Oveisi (Momo's) and Patrick Dean have restored an abandoned lot into a near-acre of green space including an ecological pond, vegetable garden and an enclosed chicken coop, and will soon open Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden on the site. The bar/cafe will feature 21 taps of local craft beer plus draft cocktails, kombucha, cold brew, wine, frozen drinks and coffee cocktails. Food will be provided by neighboring food trucks, including Leroy & Lewis, who will be launching a barbecue breakfast menu in collaboration with Rosen’s Bagels (think brisket schmear on a crisp rosemary salt bagel).
Family Business Beer Co.
ETA: January 9
Jensen Ackles, star of the horror fantasy series Supernatural, and his wife Danneel, have partnered with Ed, Debby and Gino Graul to open Family Business Beer Co. this winter. Head brewer Nate Seale (formerly of 512 Brewing) has created a starting lineup of beers like Hamilton pale ale, The Fox Rye lager, Cosmic Cowboy IPA, Ghost White IPA, Haulin' Oats brown ale and The Grackle Hill Country imperial stout. The Dripping Springs brewery will also be home to Jep’s Southern Roots, a food trailer specializing in Southern comfort food and staple Cajun favorites.
ETA: January 18
Austin will finally get its first food hall in mid-January, when Fareground opens in the urban plaza at Congress and Cesar Chavez. The site was curated and will be managed by ELM Restaurant Group (24 Diner, Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden, Italic and Irene’s) and includes a roster of MVP vendors like Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, Dai Due (opening Dai Due Taquería), Contigo, Emmer & Rye (opening all-day cafe Henbit), Easy Tiger and Komé/Daruma Ramen (opening sushi-ramen spot Ni-Komé).
Credit: Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden
Early this year, chef Stacy Chen (owner of Veggie Heaven) is opening a spot on the ground floor of the Uptown apartment complex, inspired by her grandmother’s ramen shop in Japan. In addition to traditional dishes like ramen, bao and rice bowls, Chen will put a fun twist on the menu with items like the ramen burger (on a deep-fried ramen noodle bun) or BBQ babyback ribs ramen.
ETA: Early 2018
Cesar Chavez is about to gain another chef-driven Italian concept, with the opening of Intero in the former Bud's motorcycle shop. Ian Thurwachter (formerly chef at Vespaio and Jeffrey’s) and Krystal Craig (owner of Crave Artisan Chocolate) are teaming up to create this Italian cafe with an emphasis on seasonal produce and locally raised whole animal butchery, with an artisanal chocolate counter in the front.
Credit: Madeline Burrows
After hosting pop-ups all around town, The Chameleon Group (Swift's Attic, Wu Chow) will launch its latest concept in the Lamar Central building. Guild's seasonally inspired, seafood-driven menu, created by executive chef Sterling Ridings (formerly of Uchiko), draws from broad and diverse influences and will be served in a comfortable yet contemporary atmosphere.
ETA: Early 2018
When the Fairmont Austin Hotel secures its final permits and opens its doors this year, becoming Austin's largest hotel, Fulton Bar will be one of the five food and beverage concepts launching with it. The ground-floor lobby bar will feature nightly live music, local beer, wine and spirits — curated by recently announced beverage manager Andrew Grenz, formerly of Kuneho — and playful shared plates like these Japanese-inspired deviled eggs, served with ramen reduction, bonito mayo, koji dust and a quickle.
Credit: Fairmont Austin
ETA: Early 2018
This modern grill house, dedicated to open-fire cooking, will also launch in the Fairmont Austin Hotel this winter, led by executive chef Andre Natera and chef de cuisine Jason Purcell. Starting with the area's best ingredients, the globally informed, fire-kissed dishes will include standouts like fermented carrot “embers," carrot top–green garlic pesto, dill yogurt and agua dulce ogo dust along with a Niman Ranch grilled ham chop with cassoulet, sorghum caramel, charred cabbages and Asian pear.
ETA: Early 2018
Chef de cuisine Matthew Schaefer teams up with Natera for this third Fairmont Austin Hotel concept which features four different open kitchens — each one focused on a distinct culinary world, from Italian classics like cacio e pepe and Asian creations like Tokyo frites to fresh seafood and a bakeshop led by pastry chef Benjamin Metais.
Credit: Richard Casteel
Sour Duck Market
ETA: Early 2018
The team behind Odd Duck and Barley Swine (chefs Bryce Gilmore and Mark Buley plus partners Dylan Gilmore and Jason James) are bringing a third sister restaurant to the Eastside early this year. Sour Duck Market will be a casual, affordable all-day cafe and bar with plenty of to-go options and an extensive bakery program (helmed by baker Ashley Whitmore, who baked most recently at Ten Belles Bread and Au Passage in Paris).
After launching casual Italian sandwich joint La Matta at the end of 2017, chef Erind Halilaj will be opening an adjacent full-service concept in The Arnold apartment building. The Albanian-born and Italian-raised chef held restaurant positions at five-star hotels in Milan before moving to New York to oversee the kitchen at Obicà Mozzarella Bar. This latest project from New Waterloo (La Condesa, Sway, Café No Sé, Otoko, Mañana, Le Politique) will feature an open kitchen with two imported Neapolitan wood-burning brick ovens, a private dining room, a separate bar and lounge, a wine cellar and a live oak–shaded patio.
ETA: Early 2018
This fall, Hai Hospitality announced an exciting collaboration between acclaimed chefs and James Beard Award–winners Tyson Cole (Uchi, Uchiko) and Aaron Franklin (Franklin Barbecue). Loro will be a smokehouse and bar combining flavors from the East with inspirations from Texas smokehouse traditions: grilled and smoked meats, sides, craft beers and batch cocktails. Chef James Dumapit (most recently executive chef at Old Thousand) was recently announced as the concept's chef de cuisine.
ETA: Early 2018
Owner Sam Hellman-Mass (who opened Odd Duck with Bryce Gilmore and team) is opening Suerte in the former Dario’s space on East 6th Street. The kitchen, which will feature a housemade masa program and a focus on local ingredients, will be helmed by chef Fermín Núńez (who most recently cooked at La Condesa and Launderette), whose cuisine is not only informed by his kitchen experience, but by his travels and memories of growing up between north Mexico and South Texas.
After closing their popular South Austin cafe Henri's last year due to a fire, husband-and-wife team Andy Means and Jessie Katz are opening Hank’s in Windsor Village this February. The all-day cafe will feature burgers, sandwiches, salads, fresh made pastas, house pastries and a kids’ menu, plus a full bar with beer and wine and a coffee shop with drive-thru service.
Home Slice Pizza
After years of planning, this well-loved South Congress pizzeria is opening a second location in the North Loop neighborhood. Sicilian slices and pies will be available all week long, Buffalo wings will join the menu and the beverage program will expand to include curated cocktails.
Credit: Home Slice Pizza
Sway Thai, New Waterloo's modern Australian-inspired Thai concept on South 1st Street, is expanding to two more locations — one in Westlake Hills and another in the Domain NORTHSIDE later in the year. To complement their vibrant northern Thai dishes, the restaurant will be launching a cocktail program at all three locations as well.
Detroit-style pizzeria VIA 313 is opening its third brick-and-mortar restaurant, just down the street from its first trailer location (outside Violet Crown Social Club). The Hunt brothers anticipate the new restaurant will open (in the former Collide ATX space) by the end of March, at which point the East 6th Street trailer will locate to a new spot in town.
The Brewer’s Table
After completing a successful crowdfunding campaign and hosting pop-ups from near and far, the highly anticipated Brewer's Table is getting closer than ever to opening in a 5,000-square-foot Quonset house designed by architect Kevin Stewart. The open kitchen, helmed by chef Zach Hunter (who cooked most recently at Fixe), will rotate around a seven-foot custom wood-fired grill, featuring dishes designed to complement the wood-fermented beer program curated by head brewer Drew Durish. The family friendly space will also feature plenty of outside seating, as well as bocce ball courts.
Credit: The Brewer's Table
Bird Bird Biscuit
Thunderbird Coffee owner Ryan McElroy is teaming up with chef Brian Batch (also formerly of Thunderbird Coffee) to open a biscuit-focused breakfast spot right behind Dane's Body Shop on Manor Road. And the location couldn't be more perfect, as their fluffy buttermilk biscuit sandwiches — loaded with ingredients like fried chicken, bacon, eggs and sausage — are the best draw to the gym we could imagine.
Erin Wade, owner of veggie-centric Vinaigrette, will be opening a tiny house restaurant on the north side of her property this spring. They plan to serve healthy, creative breakfast food in the morning, followed by snacks and beverages in the afternoon, including fresh-squeezed cocktails and adaptogen-enhanced juices, coffees and teas.
This spring ELM Restaurant Group's next project, called the Cookbook Cafe, will launch inside the brand-new, state-of-the-art Austin Central Library. The counter-service eatery and bar will feature cookbook-inspired food and drink, as well as special events with touring culinary authors.
Hot on the heels of opening Fareground and Cookbook Café, ELM Restaurant Group will launch a third location of Easy Tiger at The Linc (along IH-35 just north of 290). The place itself will be three times the size of the Sixth Street location, with baking facilities five times the size of the original, plus 50 craft beer taps, a large dog-friendly beer garden and a drive-thru coffee bar.
Credit: Misha Hettie
Beloved San Antonio patisserie and cafe Bakery Lorraine is opening its first location in Austin this summer (shortly after Local Coffee launches in the Seaholm District, peddling a limited amount of baked goods). Now Austinites will be able to enjoy chef Anne Ng's pastries plus breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Domain NORTHSIDE's Rock Rose location.
Houston-based South African restaurant Peli Peli will be opening its first Austin location in the space formerly occupied by Cantina's Laredo. Executive chef Paul Friedman will serve lunch, brunch and dinner, bringing a world of new flavor to our city with dishes like curried chicken espetada and pan-seared kingklip (a type of eel) with shredded scallops.
Nine years after the original location of 24 Diner made a splash on 6th Street and Lamar, ELM Restaurant Group is opening a second location of its 'round-the-clock, farm-driven diner. The 6,000-square-foot-space will be located in the Domain NORTHSIDE's Rock Rose district and, like the first, it will feature bread by baker David Norman, desserts by Mary Catherine Curren and a bar curated by master sommelier Craig Collin.