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Apple checks in with 192-room hotel for Austin campus, plus more popular stories

Apple checks in with new hotel for Austin campus and more top stories

Apple North Austin campus rendering
Apple's big hotel was our big story of the week. Rendering courtesy of Apple

Editor's note: It's that time again — time to check in with our top stories. We are continuing to cover Austin amid the COVID-19 crisis and share stories of how this is changing lives across the region. Here are the stories that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. Apple checks in with 192-room hotel for billion-dollar Northwest Austin campus. Despite another outlet publishing this story 30 hours later and calling it "an exclusive" (Sour grapes? Never!), CultureMap contributor John Egan broke the story of Apple's plans for a 192-room hotel on its new Austin campus.

2. H-E-B reveals open date for massive new South Austin store and barbecue drive-thru. H-E-B's new South Austin store is going to be bonkers, y'all. It has, among other things, a barbecue drive-thru, an indoor children's play area, and a mega beer and wine selection. And it's opening in early June.

3. Texas billionaire's glitzy hotel and casino rolls the dice with big reopening. Billionaire Tilman Fertitta is betting big that bored Texans will brave the pandemic to hang out in his casino. Golden Nugget Lake Charles opened its gambling table this week, along with its hotel, pool, and restaurants. 

4. Austin-based fried chicken chain jumps ship from Lake Travis location. Austin fried chicken mini chain Lucy's has flown the coop. Last week, owner James Holmes announced he was closing the picturesque Lake Travis locale. Lucy's other two locations remain unfettered. 

5. It's curtains for Texas-based Pier 1 Imports with big liquidation sale. Pier 1 Imports is throwing in the Egyptian cotton towel. The Texas-based home goods retailer is closing its stores — but not without a big ol' sale first.