Austin’s oldest dining and drinking establishment will tap back into Central Texas traditions this weekend, as Scholz Garten introduces a new barbecue menu. The oldest bar in Austin will serve its new barbecue menu on Sundays only, with a menu that includes brisket turkey, ribs, sausage (and vegan sausage) and more. Customers can order a three-meat plate with three sides, with options like cole slaw, charro beans and a corn cup, for $24.95 or a kids plate of one meat and two sides for $12.95. The owners of downtown haute dog restaurant and bar Frank took over food and beverage operations of the historic German beer hall last summer, taking over from longtime helmers Green Mesquite.
The ever-changing landscape of the downtown dining scene will receive some more action next month when Annies Cafe & Bar closes after an almost-10-year run at 319 Congress Ave..
Love Nance, who founded Annies in 1982 and moved it to its Congress location in June 2009, has sold the hot piece of real estate where the restaurant sits on Congress Avenue and will turn her energy to her concepts at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), Annies & Farm Aireand I Vini, a fast-casual Italian restaurant, wine bar and market. In an emailed statement, Nance also hinted at a future street-side home for Annies.
“To our treasured downtown customers and family of employees, thank you for years of extraordinary memories,” Nance said. “All of your favorite Annies menu items and classic dishes are still available at our Annies & Farm Aire location (gate 18) at the Austin airport. Until we see you again street-side, we look forward to seeing you at the airport.”
The last day of service at the restaurant’s Congress Avenue location will be April 22.
The downtown Austin lunch scene has seen increased competition in recent years with the arrival of chains like Mad Greens, Flower Child, Modern Market and Newk’s Eatery.
Punch Bowl Social will open a second Austin location late this year.
The entertainment venue has signed a letter of intent for 22,000 square feet in the Scarborough Building at West Sixth Street and Congress Avenue.
Plans call for Punch Bowl Social to occupy spaces on the first floor and in the basement that were vacated by Brooks Brothers and Gold’s Gym. An outdoor patio along Congress Avenue is envisioned, as well.
Can’t everybody just let people like what they like and let it rest? I guess not when it comes to barbecue. (And, hey, pot calling kettle “black,” I confess.) And, especially when it comes to Salt Lick BBQ. CNN political analyst/serial hot taker/comedian Chris Cillizza did something he probably thought was fairly innocuous (and it should have been). He went to an unarguably charming and pastoral setting (Salt Lick), ate some barbecue and declared he had found heaven. Trust me, after living in D.C. and eating some barbecue out that way and points further north, I have no doubt that for a District denizen drifting into Driftwood, the Salt Lick would feel heavenly, especially on a beautiful spring evening when twilight seems to last for four hours.
As the popularity of barbecue and the proliferation of great barbecue options in the Austin area has increased, so has the vitriol for anyone who dare say anything nice about Salt Lick, one of the places that many of us who have decades of history in Austin will always hold close to our hearts for nostalgic purposes, if nothing else.
So, without further ado, the public shaming and rushing to defense of a reporter who his Tweet. Folks, if we keep treating visitors like this, nobody will ever move here.
Chris, you might ask us in Central Texas first before you put out this kind of statement.
The Austin-born cafe, which opened its first location at Brodie and Slaughter Lanes in 2004, plans to relocate the shuttered business to a location with more of a neighborhood vibe, and one with fewer parking and logistical distractions, allowing the business to focus on food and guests, according to co-owner Kelly Chappell. The partners hope to make an announcement on expansion by the end of the year, if not sooner.
West End Italian restaurant, happy hour hang and listening room Winflo Osteria (1315 W. Sixth St.), which is owned by the Dickson family of Austin, will close on March 30 after five years in business. A new restaurant group will take over the space in the coming months.
“We are thankful and grateful for our customers, neighbors, staff, family, and friends for their support,” the family said in a statement. “After much deliberation, we’ve decided to close the restaurant with service concluding on March 30. We are transitioning to a new operator from New Orleans with strong restaurant experience that has great plans for our little bungalow and we are very supportive of the next chapter of this special place.”
In the comments section, Mueller expounded on the change at the establishment that is currently BYOB: “Yes, it’s been a byob place for about 7 years. Thank you for your continued support during our ‘dry’ era. Recently, we decided to offer convenience to the majority of our patrons wishing to share in libations but for reasons specific to them, are unable to bring it with them. We also hope to participate in the enrichment of the burgeoning night life in Taylor’s downtown district with later hours of operation, beers and spirits, occasional music and special Pitmaster events. Fun and festive times ahead!!!”
Louie Mueller Barbecue is not only adding alcohol, they are also looking to expand their hours. They are currently open until 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday but are targeting opening on Sundays and being open later on weekdays and as late as 2 a.m. on weekends.
“We want to generate some night life. We have had enough influx of people moving from Austin looking for a little less stress and traffic nightmares,” Mueller said. “If that demographic is flowing into Taylor, we really need more amenities to keep them here.”
They will also add live music one or two nights a week to the mix. The alcohol offerings will slowly roll in, starting with keg beer and a frozen margarita machine, before expanding.
While liquor will be new to the legacy barbecue restaurant, it won’t be the first time cold beer has been served at the Taylor destination. Louie Mueller Barbecue sold beer from 1959 to 2011.