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This week in food: One famed restaurant shutters while others expand

Trento 1
Trento is closing. Jack Allen's Kitchen will move into the West Austin space. Facebook page
Austin Photo: Places_Food_Counter Cafe
Counter Cafe is expanding to the east side. Courtesy of Busted Halo
Austin Photo Set: News_Jessica Dupuy_texas monthly bbq_Oct 2011_sign
Dates for the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival 2014 have been announced. Photo by Jessica Dupuy

Trento shutters while Jack Allen’s grows
Here’s some bittersweet food news: Trento has closed, subsequently making room for a third Jack Allen’s Kitchen location. The restaurant took to Facebook a few days ago to announce the unexpected news, saying, "Trento has closed at this location to allow for the future home of a wonderful local brand. We thank you for your friendship and continued support. From our family to yours we appreciate and thank you for being a part of the Trento family!"

The new Jack Allen's Kitchen location will open in the West Austin space this fall after a complete remodel. "We thought very long and hard about where to place our next location, and we really couldn't have found a better spot. This is where my sons grew up and went to school, and I am looking forward to serving this community and giving them a hefty helping of what our incredible local farmers and purveyors have to offer," Jack Gilmore, chef/owner of Jack Allen’s Kitchen, said in a press release.

Burger Beat
One of CultureMap’s favorite burger joints is expanding. According to Eater Austin, Counter Cafe will open a second location in Austin’s fastest growing culinary district, East Austin. The new burger haunt will be located at 1914 E. Sixth St., which offers double the space of the restaurant's cozy Lamar location. Counter Cafe's co-owner Debbie Davis says the restaurant will recreate the feel of the original Counter Cafe, but with a larger menu. One of the main reasons for the expansion is Davis' uncertainty regarding the current location's lease. "I have two years left at the existing location, and if they say they'll renew, I'll stay there. But what if they tell us in 22 months we don't have a lease? It takes a year to move a restaurant," Davis told Eater.

Texas Monthly announces BBQ Festival date
The Texas Monthly BBQ Festival has announced its 2014 plans. This year’s carnivorous feast will take place on Sunday, September 14. Tickets to the smoked meat festival go on sale July 29, and if previous years' sellouts are any indication, you’ll want to snag a ticket ASAP. No news yet on pricing, vendors or events, but you can find out more details as they become available on the festival’s Twitter account.

Tap into the Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby is on the horizon, and one local bar is celebrating in style. The Mean Eyed Cat will tap Kentucky Breakfast Stout beer on Tuesday, April 29 at 7 pm in honor of the legendary horse race. Only 13 kegs of the Kentucky beer were sent to Texas for the race day, and the popular Austin bar currently possesses one of them. The event will also feature $2 tall boys and $4 Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey.

Restaurant Week reservations
We’re eagerly awaiting next month’s Austin Restaurant Week, which takes place May 11-14 and 18-21. Those who are ready to plan out their dining dates will have the chance to do so next week. Reservations for the citywide dining event open up on Monday, April 28. Check out Austin Restaurant Week’s website for more details.

Beats and brunchin’
Uchi's Culinary Director Philip Speer is set to make an exciting appearance at this year’s Free Press Summer Fest (the Houston equivalent of ACL) alongside former UGK rapper Bun B and Dan the Automator of the Gorillaz and Deltron3030. Speer and Ja'Nel Witt, winner of Hell's Kitchen, will thematically pair five brunch courses with Bun B's and Dan the Automator's tunes, which the artists will perform during the intimate dining experience. The brunch costs $150 and is limited to Free Press Summer Fest ticket holders. See this link for more information or to purchase tickets.

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