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8 things to know in Austin food right now: Backyard bar and restaurant mows into Bouldin

8 things to know in Austin food now: Backyard bar mows into Bouldin

Bouldin Acres Austin
New concept Bouldin Acres combines approachable fare with a variety of lawn games. Bouldin Acres

Editor's note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of Austin's restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.

Openings and closings

Bouldin Acres, a playful new concept from the force behind barbecue spot EastSide Tavern, plowed into South Austin on January 23. Located at 2027 S. Lamar Blvd., the restaurant and bar features an approachable menu of Tex-Mex and American fare, a full bar, and plenty of fun and games — including full pickleball (a hybrid of tennis and badminton) courts.

Less than a year after opening its first Austin-area location in Cedar Park, Ike's Love & Sandwiches is spreading into two more Central Texas locations. The first is located in the University Oaks Shopping Center at 201 University Oaks Blvd. in Round Rock, which opens on Thursday, January 30, with free sandwiches for its first 25 customers and $5 deals for the rest of the day. The second location, 301 N. Guadalupe St. #154 in San Marcos, opens the following day with similar deals.

Don Japanese, which temporarily shuttered its Guadalupe Street brick-and-mortar in early January, is back on the scene. As of January 22, the campus favorite is dishing out donburi at the University Co-op on 2246 Guadalupe St. The menu includes best-sellers from the physical address include the uber-popular Don and Veggie King bowls.

A new bar appears to be in the works at 301 West Ave., Set 301, the site of downtown's tony The Independent condominium complex. A concept cheekily named Codependent has applied for a late-hour mixed beverage permit at the site, according to Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission records. There's no word on when the spot will debut; the place does not appear to have established a social media or web presence just yet.

Mueller neighborhood pizza eatery Stella Public House quietly shuttered on November 25, 2019, after a two-year run. According to a frank Facebook post, the owners wanted to focus on the two locations of Halcyon Coffeebar & Lounge. The original outpost of Stella in San Antonio's hip Southtown neighborhood will live on.

Other news and notes

On January 28, Gelateria Gemelli dropped a ton of news, including the debut of a new "Tenderoni" happy hour featuring $6 Negronis, Aperol Spritzes, and pours of Rosé. The shop also announced the appointment of Shangri-La and Liberty bar vet Josh Cates as beverage director and general manager and food scientist Anne-Lise Emig as pastry chef. First up for the new pastry program will be a variety of cakes, including a blood orange olive oil cake and a flourless chocolate torte Caprese.

An intriguing pop-up dining experience is taking over Lenoir on February 10. REM II is a collaboration between Kris Kim and Larry Nguyen of acclaimed eatery The Willows Inn on Lumni Island outside Seattle. Using local ingredients, the pair plan to "explore food through the progression of dream cycles," according to a release. Tickets are $90, with beverage purchases optional.

Andy Wiggington and Nick Krupa of South Austin coffee shop Patika have announced a new retail line in collaboration with longtime managers Kyle Smith and Tony Smith. Superthing specializes in small-batch coffees sourced from sustainable farms in Guatemala, Colombia, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Brazil, and Kenya. The beans are available in 10-ounce bags at both Patika concepts and brewed at Olamaie, Flitch Coffee, Wright Brothers Brew and Brew, SouthBites at the South by Southwest headquarters, Mañana Coffee, and Jester King Brewery.