The opening of Austin's newest Chinese restaurant is just around the corner. On Tuesday, Old Thousand announced that it will open in November in the former Mijo's space on East 11th Street. An exact date has not been revealed.
Old Thousand — Chinese slang for a "crafty, quick-witted gambler," and a play on the address, 1000 E. 11th St. — hopes to become the go-to spot for Chinese food on the east side by serving up a mixture of dine-in and takeout options.
Think of it as the kind of hangout where "the music is a little louder, the cocktails are a little stronger," Chris Romero of SMBG Hospitality Co. explained to CultureMap last month. "The term we've been using is 'remixed' — better ingredients and better technique, but still a neighborhood Chinese restaurant."
The concept is the first from SMGB, a new restaurant group whose team hails from top spots like Hopdoddy Burger Bar and Hai Hospitality. Uchi alums James Dumapit and David Baek will helm the kitchen.
"We've got two extremely talented chefs in James and David on board. They've been crafting some amazing dishes over the past few months. I think people are really going to dig this stuff," said partner Larry Perdido in a release.
The work-in-progress menu will feature a "Texas-fresh" approach to traditional Chinese recipes and techniques. Dishes include crispy noodles, sesame balls, clay pot, Szechwan cod, Chinese broccoli, and nontraditional flavors of snow-ice for dessert.
The 85-seat space will have funky floral wallpaper, a 40-foot oak bar, and cabinetry reminiscent of a Chinese apothecary. Music will play an important role in the Old Thousand experience, making guests feel like they've entered the "ultimate house party." The team created this playlist in case you want to know what that means.
More details on Old Thousand will emerge in the coming weeks.