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.
Wu Chow, a downtown Chinese restaurant known for its soup dumplings, is expanding from its high-traffic location on West 5th Street to something more accessible to the northern masses: the former site of Rosedale Kitchen and Bar (3800 N Lamar Boulevard). This is the first full expansion from the original location, although Little Wu serves up dumplings to-go at Fareground. The new location will have a private dining room for 30 guests and serve a dim sum brunch on Sundays (11 am to 3 pm). Wu Chow North will open in late summer from Monday to Friday between 11am and 2pm, and dinner from 5-10pm, plus Fridays and Saturdays until 11pm.
Mighty Fine Burgers is opening its first Dripping Springs location in the Belterra area at 165 Hargraves Drive. The first 50 opening day visitors on April 1 will receive gift cards between $5 and $500. The grand opening celebration also includes a first responder happy hour from noon to 2 pm with free burgers for those in uniform, an onsite fire truck demonstration by the North Hays County Fire Rescue team, and live music on the patio in the evening. Mighty Fine is known for its straightforward burger shack menu and shakes. Hours on Google Maps show that the location opens daily at 11 am and closes at 9:30 pm Sunday through Thursday, and at 10 pm on Friday and Saturday.
Other news and notes
LCRA Parks, the state-created operator of Pedernales River Nature Park, is offering another onsite installment of its farm-to-table series "Savor the Outdoors" on April 1. This dinner will feature a menu by the Roaming Fire (maker of an outdoor cooking rig) featuring a creative spring crostini with ingredients grown in Spicewood, a brown sugar rubbed pork tenderloin sourced from Center Point, Texas, sips by Texas Beer Co., and more. Tickets ($150) available at eventcreate.com.
Fierce Whiskers Distillery and social clubSmoke + Mash collaborated to release a special edition carbon-neutral rye, with a launch party on April 1. Guests may buy wristbands ($38) to taste barbecue from some of the top-rated chefs and restaurants in the state: Burnt Bean Co, Truth BBQ, and Bryan Furman BBQ. Details are sparse on the Smoke + Mash Volume 1 Special Release, but anyone can stop by for free to learn about the distillery's sustainable practices and buy a bottle. More info and tickets on Tock.
Jazz in the sculpture garden sounds like a maximally fancy event, but anyone with $12 can stop by. The Texas Moaners will serenade crowds at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden at nightfall on April 4, while Texas artist Marla Ripperda creates sculptures of armadillos. (Of course, what else?) Guests can snack on Crave Hot Dogs and BBQ, beer from Independence Brewery, wine from BOXT, and cocktails from Tito's Handmade Vodka. Register online. Members enter free.
Otopia Rooftop Lounge celebrates Global Astronomy Month for all of April, with themed cocktails that generate funds for the University of Texas at Austin Astronomy Department: the Azimuth with mezcal and islandy flavors, Equinox with Still Austin Straight Bourbon and citrus notes, and Luminosity with Titos Vodka and Crème de Violette. In addition to donating 15 percent of those sales, the lounge is partnering with the department for a free educational stargazing event on April 27. RSVP on Eventbrite.
Austinites who wish to return to the good ole days will get a chance at the Stephen F. Austin Royal Sonesta for a monthlong 20s-themed pop-up restaurant, The Austin, that goes back to the hotel's founding. It's bringing back items from the original 1924 menu, plus indulging in Domincan cigars from Bolivar Cigar Shop & Private Smoking Lounge. Stop by Stephen F’s Bar and Terrace on Thursdays in April from 4-7 pm to experience the time travel, no reservations required.