Parkside and Olive & June chef-owner Shawn Cirkiel plans to open a restaurant inside the Radisson Hotel and Suites on East Cesar Chavez in January.
The restaurant, which has yet to be officially named, will replace the former TGI Fridays and feature Southwestern cuisine inspired by native Austinite Cirkiel’s childhood family road-trips to Northern Mexico and his life in Austin.
Cirkiel, who has long stated that he and his team "cook what we like to eat and vice versa," says the restaurant will represent "what it means to be from Austin and Texas and the Southwest."
The menu will include items like homemade mole, meat and fish grilled over Texas oak, ceviche, oysters and a large section of sharable plates. The restaurant will serve breakfast (think biscuits with whipped lardo), lunch (which will include a roster of tortas) and dinner, as well as provide room-service and banquet service for the Radisson, which Cirkiel says gave him full control in conceptualizing the restaurant.
"It’s never been approached as being a hotel restaurant," Cirkiel said. "From day one it it’s been about what kind of food can we do that represents us and represents Austin. You can always tell our restaurants based on how we treat food and ingredients and more than anything the hospitality that I think our front-of-house has. They’re unbelievable. We think (the new restaurant) will translate in the same sense. We think of it as an extension of us."
Renowned Austin architect Michael Hsu has completely redesigned the space that features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Lady Bird Lake. The kitchen will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and until midnight on weekends, with bar service until the restaurant closes and possibly later. Cirkiel said it will be an all-hands-on-deck mentality when the restaurant opens, and he will appoint an executive chef after the restaurant is up and running.
"It was a very unique situation in a pretty special spot," Cirkiel said of the restaurant that has been in development for more than a year. "It’s hard to believe that it’s actually right around the corner," Cirkiel said.