Restaurants opening in Austin and Central Texas in 2021
After the worst year for restaurants and their workers in memory, I’m happy to put 2020 in our rearview mirror and start thinking about what 2021 might look like.
With good and exciting news in short supply, it’s nice to think about what the new year will bring with it.
This list of forthcoming restaurants won’t be as robust as in years past, because most restaurant owners will probably spend most of their energy on their current projects, trying to figure out how to bridge through the spring and early summer to what promises to be a much brighter fall.
Below are 16 concepts, some new and some familiar, that are slated to open in 2021. I usually include estimated opening dates, but those seem as tenuous as ever, and why put even more pressure on independent restaurant operators who still face a terrifying economic climate for the next several months.
Store House Market & Eatery
Concept: Founding Eden East and Hillside Farmacy chef Sonya Cote transforms a nearly 175-year-old building for a local and seasonal restaurant using ingredients sourced from Eden East Farm and other Bastrop producers.
Principals: Chef-owner Sonya Cote
Location: 813 Main St. Bastrop
Name: The League Kitchen & Tavern at Hill Country Galleria (fourth location)
Concept: The fourth location of the New American bistro that serves burgers, salads, sandwiches, chops and more.
Principals: TC4 & Co., owned by Tony Ciola and Creed Ford IV.
Location: 13420 Galleria Circle, A-128
Curra's Grill Hyde Park (second location)
Concept: Interior Mexican cuisine (and avocado margaritas) from the Garcia family, which has operated the original Curra's Grill on Oltorf Street for 25 years.
Principals: Daylon Garcia, son of Curra's co-founder Jorge Garcia, is the managing partner.
Location: 4215 Duval St. (old Mother's Cafe space)
Concept: Take-out and delivery pizza shop in the old Favorite Liquor store.
Principals: McGuire Moorman Hospitality (Perlas, Clark’s, Lamberts, et al)
Location: 801 W. Sixth St.
Lutie's Garden Restaurant
Concept: Restaurant at the hotel on the Commodore Perry Estate will source from a farm on-site to create seasonal, vegetable-driven dishes, with an emphasis on aged proteins and fermentation.
Principals: Executive chef Bradley Nicholson and executive pastry chef Susana Querejazu, both veterans of Barley Swine.
Location: 4100 Red River St.
Concept: Classic red-sauce Italian restaurant in the spirit of famed West Hollywood spot Dan Tana's. The name is a nod to the restaurant's first iteration as a burger drive-in that Sammie Joseph opened in 1939. The property remains in the Joseph family.
Principals: McGuire Moorman Hospitality
Location: 807 W. Sixth St. (former Hut’s space)
Concept: Seafood-centric Greek restaurant serving a menu with grilled octopus, skewered scallops, grilled sardines, marinated swordfish, seafood orzo and more.
Principals: Owner George Theodosiou, a restaurateur with a long history in New York City and a resume that includes Old Homestead and Peter Luger Steak House.
Location: Littlefield Building (601 Congress Ave.)
Cosmic Saltillo (Second location)
Concept: The operators of Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden bring their indoor-outdoor coffee, beer and cocktail bar and courtyard concept to East Austin, along with a taqueria (Cosmic Tacos) inspired by the owners' experiences in Southern New Mexico, El Paso/Juarez and San Diego/Tijuana. Design by Clayton Korte Architect and Ten Eyck Landscape Architect.
Principals: Owner Paul Oveisi, Jason Stevens and Patrick Dean
Location: 1300 and 1302 . Fourth St., inside the preserved Texas Oil Co/Texaco depot.
Concept: Mexican-inspired seafood restaurant featuring a charcoal grill.
Principals: Suerte’s Sam Hellman-Mass (owner) and Fermín Núñez (executive chef)
Location: 2113 Manor Road, in the old Eastside Cafe space
Micklethwait Craft Meats expansion with name TBD
Concept: The team behind one of the best barbecue operations will expand its offerings to include a market, backyard beer garden and their Taco Bronco food truck.
Principals: Pitmasters Tom Micklethwait and Ren Garcia
Location: 1309 Rosewood Ave.
Bird Bird Biscuit (second location)
Concept: Biscuits and biscuit sandwiches.
Principals: Owners Brian Batch and Ryan McElroy, who opened the original Bird Bird Biscuit in East Austin in 2018.
Location: 1401 W. Koenig Lane (old Thunderbird Coffee location)
Juliet Italian Kitchen (second location)
Concept: The second location of the neighborhood Italian restaurant serving familiar pasta dishes, pizza and more, with Italian-focused wine and cocktails.
Principals: Owner Dan Wilkins and executive chef Wade Guice
Location: The Arboretum (10000 Research Blvd.)
Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery
Concept: Irish pub and microbrewery
Principals: Owners Jay Kudla, who has experience operating food-and-beverage concepts at sporting venues, and Irish ex-pat Sam Darlington.
Location: 4000 East Palm Valley Blvd. Round Rock
Jjim Korean Braised BBQ
Concept: Korean BBQ featuring braised meats (jjim), not grilled meats typically associated with Korean BBQ. Menu will also feature popular Korean dishes like japchae, jeon (Korean pancakes) and bibimbap.
Principals: CKN Hospitality, which also operates Donkey Mo’s Korean Fried Chicken and Roba Katsu.
Location: Lamar Union across from Alamo Drafthouse (1120 S. Lamar Blvd. Ste 2140)
Concept: Austin-inspired snack bar serving burgers, tacos, salads, beer and wine just steps from Barton Springs Pool.
Principals: Chef Shawn Cirkiel of Parkside Projects (Parkside, Backspace, Olive & June)
Location: Barton Springs Concessions (2131 William Barton Drive)
Concept: Chef-owner Tatsu Aikawa and the team responsible for the success of Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, Ramen Tatsu-Ya, DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya and Domo Alley-Gato will open a tiki bar with Japanese-influenced food and cocktails.
Principals: Tatsu Aikawa and the Tatsu-Ya Family
Location: 1300 S. Lamar Blvd.
Tso Chinese Delivery, South (third location)
Concept: Third location of delivery and takeout service with a menu that includes General Tso’s Chicken, fried rice, lo mein, soups and more.
Principals: Min Choe (CEO) and his wife, Jenna Choe (chief culinary officer).
Location: 2407 S. Congress Ave., with all ordering done through tsodelivery.com.
Keepers Coastal Kitchen
Concept: Casual seafood restaurant from owners of District Kitchen + Cocktails in collaboration with executive chef Amir Hajimaleki’s mentor Rene Melendes.
Principals: Amir and Ali Hajimaleki
Location: 5701 W. Slaughter Lane (former North by Northwest space)
Oasthouse Kitchen & Bar (second location)
Concept: Pub food with a Texas twist and a menu similar to its original location in Northwest Austin.
Principals: Amir and Ali Hajimaleki
Location: 5701 W. Slaughter Lane