Restaurant Reinvention

Downtown Austin restaurant ditches original concept in favor of Southern gastropub

Downtown restaurant ditches original concept in favor of new gastropub

Revival Public House redfish dish sides 2015
This redfish dish from Revival Public House is complemented by Southern-focused sides. Photo by Claire Hogan

From Austin's constantly evolving food scene comes a tale of rebirth. The Second Street location of Crave has been revamped with a new concept helmed by the same executive chef and restaurant group. Introducing Revival Public House, a downtown gastropub scheduled to open Thursday, December 17.

This restaurant reincarnation is owned by Minnesota-based Kaskaid Hospitality, who runs the national Crave chain. However, management allowed former Crave chef Frank Johnson "to grow and shape the concept into his own, which led to Revival Public House."

"I've always wanted to create a welcoming space where diners could experience familiar Southern dishes that are nostalgic yet have a modern and fresh twist," said Johnson in a release. "In a city like Austin that takes such pride in remaining local, it was important to me to keep a focus on that notion, from the carefully selected beer list to the ingredients in each dish."   

Johnson has crafted a Southern-centric menu with an emphasis on Texas flavors. Highlights include kimchi Frito pie, Creole corn pups, and 512 Pecan Porter sticky toffee pudding. Revival Public House will also host 40 beers on tap with a wide selection from local breweries.

The evolution of Crave into Revival Public House is a new venture for Kaskaid Hospitality. "Our strategic growth plan for Crave is focused exclusively on retail environments, and the Austin location did not quite work with that model," said marketing director Zach Sussman in a statement. "We can't wait to see what [Johnson] is able to do with this exciting new concept."

Revival Public House will offer daily dinner service in addition to Sunday brunch. For more information, stay tuned to the restaurant's website.