Bridget Dunlap plans to open an Italian restaurant in East Austin in 2015. (Ralph Barrera AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Bridget Dunlap exploded onto the Austin scene with a host of bars on Rainey Street, a self-contained entertainment district she helped popularize. She expanded to the east side last year with the bistro Mettle and has more in store for East Austin. Dunlap plans to open a Lustre Pearl (the original bar that got things started for Dunlap in Austin in 2009) near Cesar Chavez and Pleasant Valley streets and Italian restaurant Nuns and Lovers at Chicon and East Sixth streets, according to the Austin American-Statesman’s Gary Dinges, who profiled the entertainment impresario in Sunday’s Statesman.

“We’re excited to be bringing a budget-friendly Italian restaurant to East Sixth,” Dunlap told Dinges. “Pizzas, pastas, wine … it’ll be so simple, but so good.”

For the complete story on Dunlap’s 2015 plans, which also involve a new Lustre Pearl on Rainey Street, head to