POPULAR NASHVILLE HOT CHICKEN TRUCK MOVES INTO NORTH AUSTIN BREWERY

Austin’s Nashville hot fried chicken truck Dang Hot 89 moved from its Jollyville location at 7221 McNeil Drive location to North Austin brewery Celis at 7221 McNeil Drive as of July 5. The truck, which opened in November 2023, focuses on Nashville-style hot chicken in various formats (bone-in, boneless, thighs, drumsticks, wings, tenders), as well as sandwiches, fries, and sauces. Its hours are from 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and then from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Pickup and delivery orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Austin wine bar changes

East Austin wine bar Apt 115 is going back to its roots and is now functioning only as a wine bar and retail bottle shop, as of July 5, which means it’s not offering its a la carte or prix fixe food menus anymore. Before this, the bar had offered a tasting menu by chef Charles Zhuo since 2022, but that stopped in late 2023. And then it had been hosting pop-ups by other chefs since then. Owner Joe Pannenbacker decided to halt the food service because, per the newsletter announcing the change, “our current space was never designed to be a full-on restaurant” and that “with the sheer amount of restaurants in Austin, and what seems like a new one opening almost every other day, I feel that is is time for us to exit that market.” This doesn’t mean that food is completely going away; it’ll offer oysters, cheese and character boards, bread, and other smaller bites. The bar will also offer lower prices on dine-in and to-go bottles.

Bakery and cake caterer shutters

Austin cake caterer Cake Rocks and bakery Rose Haven have closed this summer, according to Community Impact. Owner Christy Seguin decided to shutter her businesses because it was financially impossible to continue them. Their last day of service was on June 15. She is keeping her recently opened venue space Rose Haven Event Venue.

Austin Japanese restaurant expansion

Ever growing Japanese-based restaurant chain Uchi is now also expanding into Charlotte, North Carolina, per Eater Carolinas. It’s expected to open in 2025.

Texas winery changes

Texas-based winery company Heath Family Brands bought essential Texas Hill Country winery Kuhlman Cellars in June. Under the acquisition, the company plans on renovating the space and will produce newer wines alongside Kuhlman’s staples. Kuhlman co-founders Chris and Jennifer Cobb opened their winery in 2014, focusing on French-style wines with Texas grapes. Heath also oversees Grape Creek Vineyards, Heath Sparkling Wines, Jenblossom Cellars, Heath Vineyards, and Invention Vineyards.

National bar recognition

Earlier in June, Bon Appetit named the best new bars in America, which includes Austin hotel cocktail bar and listening room Equipment Room.

National wine list recognitions

Wine Spectator published its annual restaurant awards list earlier this summer. And, as usual, there’s a bunch of Austin restaurants on the lineup, including hotel restaurant Dean’s Italian Steakhouse, live-fire restaurant Hestia, also hotel restaurant Ciclo, also hotel restaurant with Mediterranean fare the Peacock, also hotel restaurant that serves New American cuisine Garrison, New American restaurant Emmer & Rye, It’s Italian Cucina, Spanish restaurant El Raval, French restaurant Epicerie, and a bunch of steakhouse chains.

Tracking Austin food events, guest chef pop-up series edition

Zilker neighborhood Southeast Asian Mexican barbecue truck Si Baby-Q (from parent restaurant Zoe Tong) is hosting a bunch of guest chefs this summer into the fall. First, there’s a regular Wednesday burger pop-up series: there’s an ebi burger made with Austin restaurant Ramen del Barrio chef Christopher Krinsky on July 10; the famous Emmy burger from New York with Emily chef Sammy Pico on July 24; one with Austin restaurant Bill’s Oyster chef Dylan Salisbury on August 24; Austin Chinese restaurant Yellow Ranger chef Jeremy Young on August 28; now-closed New Texan restaurant Salt & Time co-founder Ben Runkle on September 11; Nashville restaurant Dreamburger chef Cole Meilenstein on October 9; Atlanta restaurant NFA Burger chef Billy Kramer from October 18 to 20; and New York City restaurant Hamburger America chef George Motz from November 13 to 14. These take place from 4 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $40 or there’s room for walk-ins.

And then at the same time, Si Baby-Q is hosting other guest chef pop-ups that have nothing to do with burgers. There’s a biryani pop-up with Austin chef Deepa Shridha from Thursday, July 18 through Sunday, July 20; a banh mi one with New York City restaurant Saigon Social chef Helen Nguyen on Wednesday, August 7; and much, much more.

Downtown seafood restaurant Bill’s Oyster is in the middle of a summer guest chef series this July. Participating chefs will offer up special dishes for their designated Tuesday evening. Next up are New American restaurant Elementary chef Colter Peck on July 16, Austin supper club series Soigne Supper Club founder Clark Costello on July 23, and Caribbean restaurant Canje chef Sho Uemura on July 30. A portion of the proceeds from each evening will go towards nonprofit Partnerships for Children.

Austin brunch restaurant Paperboy has been offering its pastry case to various Austin pastry chefs throughout the summer. Next up is Dai Due’s Tiffany Dejesus on Sunday, July 28; Abby Jane Bakeshop’s Abby Love on Sunday, August 11; and Little Ola’s Biscuits’ Jules Stoddart on Sunday, August 25. The baked goods will be available for walk-up/in service starting at 8 a.m. each day through 3 p.m. or until everything is sold out.

Tracking other Austin food events

Austin chef Deepa Shridhar is hosting a three-evening dinner series at women and LGBTQ-geared creative organization Future Front Texas this week. For the Art Dinner, the chef took her inspirations from Texas musicians such as Selena, Beyoncé, and Guy Clark, leading to what she describes aa “Louisiana, low country, Tex-Mex, and my own personal brand of fusion” menu, per the press release. Expect dishes like Gulf shrimp sukka (a dry rub), a Texas root vegetable masala and grilled cheese kolache, and pecan pie with burnt jaggery gelato. There’s also natural wines and cocktails, and a tour of Future Front’s spaces. The five-course, family-style dinner takes place from Thursday, July 11 through Saturday, July 13, from 7 to 10 p.m. each evening at Future Front’s venue at 1900 East 12th Street. Tickets are $150 for individual diners and $275 for two. The dinner will raise money for people participating in the event, and future events.

Downtown hotel the Four Seasons is hosting a vegan dinner at its on-site restaurant Ciclo this week. The meal features products from Rebel Cheese, urban microgreens farm Urban Mikros, and Mighty Good Mushrooms in dishes by chefs Abril Galindo and Fernando Chombo. It takes place on Thursday, July 11 at 7 p.m.; tickets are $98.

Austin chef Teddy Simon is hosting a bunch of sushi and sake dinners at McKinney brewery Meanwhile Brewing this summer. The Sake & Sushi meals will include 10 pieces of nigiri and sashimi, along with optional sake pairings and the brewery’s new sparkling yuzu wine. Tickets are $54 dollars and $24 for pairings. It takes place on Friday, July 19; Saturday, July 20; Friday, July 26; and Saturday, July 27; with seatings at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

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