Exclusive: Fareground reopening downtown with new tenants, including Wu Chow spinoff
The pandemic largely quieted a once-bustling downtown. It ushered in an era of closures for restaurants, both temporary and permanent, as many office denizens worked from home. But things are slowly coming back to life.
One significant reopening will take place on Sept. 7, when downtown modern food court Fareground reopens at One Eleven Congress. The collection of food vendors operated by some of Austin’s top restaurants has sat dormant since March 17 of last year, but it will reopen under new management, with some new vendors joining a couple of established Fareround veterans.
Richard Sandoval Hospitality, the Colorado-based company that operates 45 restaurant concepts around the globe, is now managing the collection of six food-and-beverage tenants at Fareground. The hospitality group, named after founding Mexican-born chef Richard Sandoval, also runs Ciclo and Live Oak at the nearby Four Seasons.
New tenants at Fareground will include Little Wu, a spinoff of downtown Chinese restaurant Wu Chow, serving dumplings, potstickers, shumai, noodle dishes and more, and Austin Rôtisserie, a concept from husband-and-wife duo Eric and Sophie Nathal that serves sandwiches, salads and meals built around roasted chicken. Sandoval will oversee the Market, which serves salads, sandwiches and pizza, and Taco Pegaso, with a menu of tacos, burritos, aguas frescas and more.
The new concepts join Fareground veterans Henbit, a modern American operation from Emmer & Rye partners chefs Kevin Fink and Tavel Bristol-Joseph that has updated its menu to include a burger, a fried chicken sandwich and a salmon bowl with crispy lentils, and TLV, the Israeli street food standout from chef Berty Richter serving hummus entrees, pita sandwiches and side dishes like cumin beets and fire-roasted eggplant.
Fareground’s centerpiece bar, Drink, will serve coffee beverages, kombucha and other nonalcoholic beverages, as well as frozen cocktails, beer, wine and draft cocktails. Ellis is the new name for the self-contained cocktail bar on street level at Congress Avenue and Second Street.
“One of the core missions of Fareground is to provide an incubator space to allow restaurant concepts to grow and flourish,” Sandoval said in a statement. “We are looking forward to making Fareground a vibrant destination for exquisite cuisine, stellar drinks and one-of-a-kind experiences.”
In addition to distancing measures and following potentially shifting local guidelines regarding masking, Fareground will also offer contactless ordering ahead of time and delivery services at order.faregroundaustin.com. There are some designated parking spaces on Brazos Street reserved for people who have ordered online and are picking up meals at Fareground.
Fareground will also offer a specialty retail market, selling flowers from House of Margot Blair, along with products from Austin Jam, Tiny House Coffee Roasters, Texas Hill Country Olive Oil, Tea Sip, Mixy Craft Mixology and Dude, Sweet Chocolate.
Fareground will be open daily from 11 a.m to 9 p.m. Ellis will be open 3 p.m. to midnight Sunday-Thursday and 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.