Exclusive: Trudy's Del Mar, a Tex-Mex seafood spot, taking place of South Congress Cafe
South Congress has lost one of its most familiar spots, but it is being replaced by another legacy Austin brand from the same parent company.
South Congress Cafe, which opened at 1600 S. Congress Ave. in 2003, has closed, but taking its place is Trudy's Del Mar, a coastal Tex-Mex restaurant spinoff from longtime Austin staple Trudy's.
The new seafood-centric restaurant will open Dec. 29, serving a menu that features daily-catch Veracruzana; seared tuna garnished with grilled pineapple pico; and surf and turf fajitas, along with tacos, botanas and more.
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Trudy's, which opened in 1979, is under the direction of new CEO Dan Smith. He came onboard with new owners, North Carolina-based private equity firm Hargett Hunter Capital Management LLC, which bought Trudy's out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy for $6.5 million in 2020.
“We have always wanted to open a unique Tex-Mex seafood concept and knew we had to find the perfect location to introduce it,” said Smith, an Austinite who is also a part owner of Scholz Garten. “South Congress Cafe has always been owned and operated by Trudy’s, and we knew that the concept was greatly in need of a facelift. We thought it was the perfect place and time to bring the best of both worlds to this location."
Trudy's continues to operate its South Star location at 901-C Little Texas Lane and North Star location at 8820 Burnet Road. The company, which said it is looking to expand its Trudy's Tex-Mex brand throughout Austin and Texas, is still remodeling the Texas Star location at 30th Street, with plans to reopen the campus-area restaurant in the middle of 2022.