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6 things to know in Austin food right now: Secretive new bar rolls into former El Naranjo space

6 things to know in Austin food now: Secretive new bar rolls into town

El Naranjo Austin
The former El Naranjo space will be reinvented into a bar by the end of 2020. El Naranjo/Facebook

Editor's note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of Austin’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.

Openings and closings

Matthew Wolski of Lion’s Share Hospitality, owners Parlor and Yard, tells CultureMap that he has a new concept in the works in the former Rainey Street home of El Naranjo, which shuttered in October. The project will be the first concept for a new group, Midas Willum, but Wolski is not yet ready to spill all the beans. He does say it will operate as an event space February through the busy SXSW season before remodeling into a bar opening of summer or early fall 2020.

A concept called Local Foods is headed to 454 W. Second St. in the second half of 2020, according to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Although a request for confirmation was not returned, the restaurant appears to be the first Austin outpost of the Houston farm-to-table sandwich shop owned by Benjy’s restaurant operators Benjy Levit and Dylan Murray. One more clue: Snap Kitchen founder Martin Berson, who was a former managing partner of Benjy’s, is listed on the state filing.

A new restaurant is moving into 2700 W. Anderson Ln. #212, the former address of Red Pepper Szechuan Restaurant, according to a permit notice with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Little is known about Tatsumi, including the estimated opening date. The concept does not appear to have established a social media presence.

Otopia, one of four concepts slated for upcoming Central Austin hotel The Otis, revealed it will open in February 2020 with a membership program allowing non-hotel guests to access the snazzy rooftop bar and pool. The program is free, but prospective members must fill out an application that includes social media handles and basic information. The selection parameters, however, are anyone’s guess.

Other news and notes

Austinite Addy Riley has introduced a new line of CBD-infused teas, the appropriately named Dosed by Addy, currently available to be purchased online. According to a release, the entrepreneur wanted to create a natural product that could be enjoyed on a daily basis to maximize the benefits and effectiveness of the wildly popular compound. The teas come in five varieties with various caffeine concentrations: black, green, white, rose herbal, and nightly herbal with chamomile.

The Texas Craft Beer Report, billing itself as “the most comprehensive report ever published on Texas craft beer consumers and craft breweries,” was released on December 18 and included several insights into the consumer behavior of Austin hop heads. According to the survey Austinites tend to visit more breweries per person than beer fans in other Texas cities, value traditional beer styles like lagers and pilsners, and are big on (surprise!) live music and dog friendliness. The report also ranked breweries in the state with Jester King Brewery and Pinthouse Pizza nabbing the number one and number two spots, respectively. Read the full results here.