Editor's note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the what’s what and who’s who of Austin food. We have you covered with our regular roundup of the freshest Austin restaurant news.
A new locally owned eatery has landed at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. On June 28, the City of Austin announced that Z Cafe had opened in the former SoCo Market space near the American Airlines ticket counter with a mix of coffee, drinks, sandwiches, and Asian fare. The counter service kiosk is operated by restaurateur Iris Ren, who owned the Wok & Roll concession before it closed in 2017.
Former Emmer & Rye chef de cuisine Page Pressley has found a new home at McGuire Moorman Hospitality’s upcoming Swedish Hill. The restaurant broke the news on June 28 via an Instagram post announcing the last in its series of backdoor bake sales. There is still no word on when the re-envisioned Clarksville cafe will be fully open.
Despite weeks of speculation on its financial woes, iconic Austin beer maker Celis Brewery isn’t going anywhere. The future of the business has been a hot topic on craft beer forums and blogs after a public notice of foreclosure was printed in the June 21 edition of the Austin American-Statesman. To prevent the auction, Christine Celis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 1, which will allow the brand to reorganize operations. The brewery will be celebrating its second anniversary on July 11 with a party that includes a watermelon seed spitting contest and beer pong.
In other staff shuffles, Treaty Oak Distilling has hired a new pitmaster for its on-site eatery, Alice’s Restaurant. Scott Fogle — a veteran of Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, Stiles Switch, and Whitfield’s — has introduced a new menu that mixes bar snacks like Chex mix, crispy chicken skins, and smoked ceviche along with a wide variety of meats by the pound.
Beginning July 9, Barley Swine will begin offering a summer tasting menu from 5-6 pm on Sundays and Tuesdays through Thursdays. The seasonal prix fixe, heavily discounted from $95 to $65, will be available for both reservation holders and walk-ins, but the whole table must participate. While guests are taking advantage of the deal, they can also try out a new trio of craft mocktails made in three flavor profiles: fruity, juicy, and herbaceous; citrusy and bright; and light, refreshing, and floral. All can be kicked up with a liquor of choice.
Austin company Big Swig is branching out from the local sparkling water field by introducing some of the most creative flavors on the market. On June 24, the company debuted a trio of flavors, including chile mango, prickly pear cucumber, and watermelon. In July, it will get even weirder with the release of jalapeño pineapple and the intriguing Party Pickle. The cans be found all over Austin at convenience stores and grocers like H-E-B, Whole Foods Market, Fresh Plus, and Wheatsville Food Co-Op.