Ch-ch-changes

Hip hotelier and restaurant mogul join forces on stylish South Congress diner

Hip hotelier and restaurant mogul join forces on stylish SoCo diner

Austin Motel Fine Foods patio
Austin Motel's Fine Foods will be replaced with a new diner from McGuire Moorman Hospitality. Photo by Nick Simonite

Few stretches of Austin have seen more changes in the last decade than South Congress Avenue, but one landmark that has always remained is the Austin Motel. We knew changes were afoot when the owners of Snack Bar announced they were closing their long-running restaurant in 2016, and then again this spring when homegrown hoteliers Bunkhouse Group debuted a chic new look for the adjacent motel.

Now, Fine Foods and Jo’s Burger Box, the bar and food truck that took over Snack Bar, has closed to make room for Joann’s Diner — a new project from Bunkhouse and South Congress juggernaut McGuire Moorman Hospitality. The plans were revealed in passing in a Texas Monthly interview with MMH CEO and partner Larry McGuire, but the news has been somewhat of an industry open secret since the two concepts launched — especially since the interior portion of Fine Foods was left unused.

Scant details were divulged in the interview, other than the concept will be a diner. Company reps told CultureMap that details are still being finalized, and a post on Jo’s Coffee teases that Joann’s will be opening sometime in spring 2018.

The Texas Monthly chat also revealed that a cocktail bar, coffee shop, and two restaurants will be going into the luxury high-rise Austin Proper Hotel and Residences. No word on whether those concepts will be designed in-house or by decorating superstar Kelly Wearstler, who is curating the look of the rooms.