Update: After publication, The Austin Asian Community Health Initiative (AACHI) is saddened to announced the indefinite postponement of the Far East Fest due to the growing public safety concerns surrounding COVID-19 coronavirus.
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
After 15 months in business, Smithville's Micklethwait Market and Grocery took to Instagram on February 27 to announce its immediate closure. The news isn't all gloom and doom, however. The Micklethwait Craft Meats trailer and recently opened concept Taco Bronco will remain operational as usual.
Westlake is getting a little sweeter this spring when Tiny Pies opens its third location. A release notes that the shop will be teaming up with the existing outpost of Blenders & Bowls at 3736 Bee Caves Rd., Ste. 8 to create a food court experience complete with two separate counters and a shared eating area. Though the experience will be slightly different, the menu will remain the same as the Burnet Road and South Lamar Boulevard locations.
More details have emerged about Dear Diary Coffeehouse, a new project at 1212 Chicon St. #103 first teased by Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation filings in November 2019. Billed as a "coffeehouse for creatives," the concept will feature communal space; art supply retail; and a cafe carrying a 100 percent plant-based menu with pastries, beer, grab-and-go lunches, and plenty of caffeine. Though the exact opening date has not yet been announced, multiple Facebook posts are trumpeting a spring debut.
In other perky news, the Teal House Coffee and Bakery trailer will soon be dishing out its decadent cinnamon rolls in a new, permanent home. According to a rep, the concept will settle into the former New India at 2304 S. Congress Ave. by the end of 2020.
Other news and notes
Andrew Zimmern will be waking up Launderette March 15 with a one-day-only pop-up brunch. Working in collaboration with chefs Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki, the celebrity chef and TV personality will be serving a menu of citrus curd doughnuts; dim sum-inspired "snacks bites'; and shared accompaniments like dry-fried eggplant, charred mushrooms, and scallion pancakes. Reservations are required to attend, but the $40 prepaid price is surprisingly affordable.
A boozy boba pop-up will bubble up March 11-12 at West Austin hot spot Bar Peached. Elton Keung, owner of cult California concept Labobatory, will set up shop in the downstairs private dining space starting at 4 pm each day. The cheeky menu includes the apple-forward Johnny Bobaseed and the vodka-based Bobagasm.
Far East Fest is making a return to Austin March 29 for its third year. Held in the H-Mart parking lot at 11301 Lakeline Blvd., the event offers bites from Austin's best Asian restaurants, alcohol samples, a noodle eating competition, and live performances. Tickets are $65 per person and benefit the Austin Asian Community Health Initiative. [Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns about coronavirus.]