Two hospitality powerhouses have joined forces for the newest addition to the South Congress dining scene. McGuire Moorman Hospitality, which operates Perla’s, Elizabeth Street Cafe and several other restaurants, has opened Joann’s Fine Foods (1224 S. Congress Ave.) at the Austin Motel, which Liz Lambert’s Bunkhouse Group renovated and rebooted earlier this year. The all-day restaurant connected to the legacy motel takes the place of the former Snack Bar.
MMH co-founder Larry McGuire says he took inspiration from classic cafes like Magnolia Cafe and the late great Las Manitas, as well as California diners, for the menu and vibe of the retro chic restaurant and bar named after Lambert’s mother.
The menu has an updated American classic feel with a coastal bent. Breakfast features items like French toast and breakfast tacos (both corn and flour tortillas are made in house), while dishes later in the afternoon and evening range from ceviche, salads and sandwiches to fish and steak dishes from a pecan-burning grill. Desserts include pineapple upside down cake and shakes. The food and beverage options at the Austin Motel also include a pool bar and courtyard bar and dining area. The bar menu appropriately includes a slew of mezcal, tequila and rum drinks, local beers and about a dozen wines by the glass.
Joann's Fine Foods serves breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m Monday-Friday and until 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Its all-day menu is served from 11 a.m. to midnight. The courtyard bar, which serves drinks and food, is open from 3 to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
A native Austinite, McGuire got his start in the restaurant business working up the street at the late Texas French Bread before going to work making pizzas for Liz Lambert’s brother, Lou, with whom McGuire would open his first restaurant, Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, at the edge of downtown. MMH has since gone on to open more than a half dozen restaurants in Austin, its most recent being June’s All Day down Congress Avenue in 2016.
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Day 1 of soft open in the books! Feelin’ more than fine about our Fine Food’s Pork Chop. @joannsaustin @mmhaustin #allwayswelcome// // // // // // View this post on Instagram
#joannsfinefoods opens Thursday at the #austinmotel for #earlybirdsandnightowls// // // // // //