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Favorite healthy eatery spreads out with new South Austin restaurant
A local business that began as a modest 150-square-foot trailer in Austin in 2013 and launched a scrumptious clean-eating revolution unlike any other the city had witnessed is continuing to “shift the paradigm of food everywhere,” including at a new South Austin spot that promises to serve up more real food and lots of good vibes.
Picnik, the Austin eatery founded by Naomi Seifter that specializes in mindful and healthy comfort food with an emphasis on gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, and peanut-free menu items, is expanding its conscious-culinary kingdom with the opening of a new brick-and-mortar location at 1600 S. First St., suite 110, in the new mixed-use Willa development.
Set to open March 21, just in time for picnic season, the new 3,500-square-foot restaurant will be lined with windows to create a light and airy feel, chief marketing officer Michelle Wong tells CultureMap, and will include a full bar and plenty of seating, in addition to a walk-up window that will serve Picnik’s popular coffee-based beverages. The restaurant will also offer covered patio seating and underground parking.
Picnik is no stranger to creating a comfortable, welcoming ambience, and will do so with the new restaurant, which will include a colorful midcentury modern mural created by artist Micheline Halloul that brings to mind the bucolic Texas countryside and wraps along the restaurant’s interior walls.
A full menu will be offered at the new location, alongside happy hour, brunch, and seasonal specials. That means tacos a la carte, bibimbap, hot honey chicken sandwiches, grass-fed burgers, heavenly butternut polenta, delightful desserts, cocktails, zero-proof sippers, sustainable wines, and all the specialty coffee drinks Austinites could ever hope for. There are even special menus for those adhering to particular diet styles, from paleo to vegan, AIP, and low-carb.
“The core mission behind Picnik was always about providing great food that anyone could enjoy,” says Dan Mesches, CEO Picnik Restaurants. “Seeing Picnik grow and evolve into a true dining destination for clean, delicious food and drinks is just incredible.”
The new South First Street restaurant will be Picnik’s third Austin location (the Burnet Road staple and South Lamar Boulevard trailer remain busy spots), though the company recently announced it is also branching out with a new Houston location, opening this fall at the Montrose Collective development. Though Wong says the brand isn’t currently focused on further expansion, it wouldn’t be surprising if Picnik’s popularity led to more locations both inside and outside the Capital City.
“Right now, we are concentrating on the great locations we have in Austin,” Wong says. “We love Austin, and Picnik is growing. More locations mean we get to continue our mission of creating food for all, food that is refined-sugar-free, gluten-free, and peanut-free that doesn’t sacrifice on flavor or experience. We make all the things people love to eat and make it health-positive.”
Follow Picnik on Instagram for updates about the opening of the South First Street restaurant and for a closer glimpse at some drool-inspiring culinary artistry.