Exclusive: Home Slice Pizza on North Loop sets grand opening date

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Central Austin’s long wait for some of the best New York-style pizza in Texas is almost over.

The new Home Slice Pizza at 501 E. 53rd St. (Credit: Julia Keim)

Home Slice Pizza announced this morning that it would officially open its 501 E. 53rd St. location to the public on May 30. As previously reported, in addition to the menu items at the original location, the new Home Slice will serve square Sicilian-style pizza every night, along with Buffalo wings (co-founder Jen Strickland is a Western New York native) and a full bar. There is also ample parking, as anyone who has passed by the location has seen. Home Slice will offer dine-in and take-out service (512-707-7437) and be open Sunday and Monday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

While the restaurant won’t officially open until the end of May, the restaurant today started soft-open service, meaning the restaurant is open with limited seating and limited take-out as they perfect service in their new kitchen.

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(Credit: Julia Keim)

Sap’s Fine Thai Cuisine owner purchases recently closed Krua Urban Thai

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Longtime Austin restaurant owner Sap Apisaksiri has purchased the recently shuttered Krua Urban Thai at 2024 S. Lamar Blvd. The Bangkok native who has two eponymous restaurants in Austin plans to re-open the small restaurant in the first week of May.

Credit: Krua’s Facebook page.

Apisaksiri will initially operate the restaurant under the name Krua, though he says he will eventually change the name. The restaurant will be remain an upmarket spot with a modern take on Thai cuisine, offering dishes with a wider range of proteins than Sap’s, as well as more seafood dishes. The revamped Krua will serve lunch and dinner daily. Krua closed recently after fewer than six months in business.  

Exclusive: Olamaie opening fast-casual concept, Mignette, at St. Elmo Public Market

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One of the city’s best chefs is taking a more casual approach to his second concept. Olamaie chef-owner Michael Fojtasek, a James Beard finalist this year for Best Chef Southwest, will open Mignette at the St. Elmo Public Market in South Austin next spring. The restaurant will be one of several concepts announced today. For more on those, check out Statesman business reporter Gary Dinges’ story.

Chef Michael Fojtasek at Olamaie on May 9, 2017. (TAMIR KALIFA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Fojtasek, whose Olamaie has earned top restaurant honors in the city from the Statesman two of the last three years, will take his same farm-to-table approach to the all-day restaurant, bakery and take-away located in the indoor-outdoor market at 4329 S. Congress Ave.

Simplicity and sustainability will be the hallmarks of the locally sourced ingredients used to build a menu that will include classic Southern meat-and-three dishes, sandwiches, baked goods as Sothern staples like and biscuits and gravy. Yes, Olamaie-level biscuits available all day. Mignette will also sell packaged meals for grab-and-go convenience.

“Mignette, another restaurant with a family name, will be sunny and fun, but also soulful and delicious,” Fojtasek said in a statement. “It’s a chance for the team to let our hair down and play with the same ingredients and ideas of Olamaie, but in a light and casual way. St. Elmo Marketplace is going to be a special place. I can’t wait to work in Austin’s version of the San Francisco Ferry Building.”

For more on St. Elmo Public Market, head to MyStatesman.com.

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Lucy’s Fried Chicken closing on South Lamar and opening in Cedar Park

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Chef James Holmes’ short-lived run with Lucy’s on the Fly on South Lamar, an extension of his Lucy’s Fried Chicken brand, will come to an end this weekend, as the longtime Austin chef says goodbye to the space at which he has operated a restaurant for 10 years. Holmes says he was unable to renew the lease at the space at 2403 S. Lamar Blvd., where he first opened Olivia in 2008, a fine dining restaurant that was at the forefront of the farm-to-table wave of upmarket dining that came to Austin over the last 10-15 years.

Credit: Ricardo B. Brazziell AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Lucy’s on the Fly will close Sunday, but with that shutter comes news of a new location for Holmes fried chicken restaurant that got its start off South Congress Avenue in 2011. Lucy’s Fried Chicken plans to open in June at 401 E. Whitestone Blvd. A-108, in the the Railyard complex. Holmes will have more details, including opening date, in the weeks to come.

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El Tacorrido opening in North Austin

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The El Tacorrido taqueria is expanding to North Austin with its fourth location. The building, which features a drive-thru, is under construction at the northeast corner of North Loop and Burnet Road.

El Tacorrido at the corner of North Loop and Burnet. (Matthew Odam AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

It will join the Rundberg, South First Street and Berkman Drive locations in the taqueria family started about a decade ago by owner Jose De Loera. The Mexican native also owns Takoba, which closed in January but is slated to re-open by the World Cup this spring.

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Torchy’s Tacos opening first downtown Austin location

Update: A Torchy’s Tacos rep has confirmed that the company will open its first downtown Austin location at 110 San Antonio St. The rep said there is not a planned opening date at this time.

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Torchy’s Tacos is planning to open its first downtown Austin location, according to a post on Eater Austin. Eater points to the city’s website, which indicates that a project titled Torchy’s – North Shore has applied for permits.  The proposed Torchy’s will be located at 110 San Antonio St. Unit 120, in the Northshore Austin luxury apartment building that is also home to ATX Cocina and Le Politique. We have reached out to a rep from Torchy’s for more information.

Torchy’s, which opened in 2006 as a trailer on South First Street, closed its original location earlier this year after taking on significant investment money in 2017.

Trailer Park taco (fried chicken, green chiles, pico de gallo, lettuce, tomato, cheese), from Torchy’s Tacos. (Tina Phan AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Ramen Tatsu-ya and Kemuri Tatsu-ya owners taking over old Qui space

Chefs Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto, the owners of popular ramen shops Ramen Tatsu-ya and James Beard award Best New Restaurant semifinalist have confirmed they have signed a lease for the restaurant at 1600 E. Sixth St. that previously housed Paul Qui restaurants Qui and Kuneho.

Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto of Kemuri Tatsu-Ya earned the attention of both the James Beard Foundation and Texas Monthly. (Contributed by Bertie Pearson)

They have not said what the concept will be or when it will be open, but given that the space is fully built out already, I wouldn’t expect the wait to be terribly long.

The chefs recently announced they have also signed a lease at 7301 Burnet Road for another unannounced concept.

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Kemuri Tatsu-ya names quarterfinaliat for Best new restaurant in America by James Beard Foundation