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Iconic Austin restaurant opening location on Barton Springs Road

Matthew Odam

New Austin will feel a little like Old Austin later this spring, as a familiar face brings an iconic brand to a familiar address near Zilker Park.

Restaurateur Rick Engel will open a location of Ski Shores Café at 1608 Barton Springs Road in the space in which he ran Austin Java for more than a decade. Marion Fowler opened Ski Shores Waterfront Café on an undeveloped stretch of Lake Austin in 1954, and Engel, who also operates Little Woodrow’s, took over operations from the Fowler family in 2009, rebooting the lakeside restaurant the following year.

Engel has licensed the Ski Shores brand from the Fowler family in order to open the Barton Springs Road location, which sits on property owned by Engel. The new restaurant will feature a similar menu and laid-back vibes as the original lakeside restaurant, along with a refurbished front patio that will feel similar to the deck on Lake Austin, complete with a small stage for live music, according to a rep for the restaurant.

Long a centerpiece of Barton Springs Road’s restaurant row, the building that will house Ski Shores Café was home to Austin Java from 2004 to 2018. Irish Pub Darcy’s Donkey inhabited the space for less than a year following the closure of Austin Java.

Ski Shores Cafe on Barton Springs Road is slated to open this spring.

Correction: This post has been updated to reflect the accurate lifespan of Austin Java on Barton Springs Road.