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5 things to know in food right now: Austin's iconic Ranch 616 reopens

5 things to know in food right now: Austin's iconic Ranch 616 reopens

Ranch 616
Ranch 616 is ready to ride again. Ranch 616/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.


Beloved West Sixth Street watering hole Ranch 616 has reopened after renovations and is “remodeled, recharged, and ready to ride,” according to recent social media posts. The West Sixth Street spot is home to the original Ranch Water, the signature tequila-and-Topo Chico cocktail created by its fun-loving founder Kevin Williamson, who passed away in late 2021. On April 1, Ranch 616 will celebrate Williamson's life and the restaurant-bar’s reopening with an April Fools party. Wigs and whoopie cushions are optional, says a recent Instagram post, in honor of Williamson’s mischievous spirit. Drink specials will be available, and DJ Fideo will be spinning records on the patio.

Other news and notes

Austin foodies will have plenty of reasons to leave the house this weekend with several other events around town, including a Night at the Museum of Ice Cream. Taking place on Friday, April 1, the ticketed experience for adults 21 and over will be a fun party with complimentary beverages, games, and an inside look at the museum. New Waterloo’s corporate pastry chef Amanda Rockman will demonstrate special ice cream concoctions for the museum’s Friday and Saturday events. Highlights will include Rockman's Cheesecake Ice Cream with a Strawberry and Fudge with a White Chocolate Strawberry Crunch (almonds, graham cracker, frosted Rice Krispies, freeze dried strawberries) — all topped off with Strawberry Pop Rocks. Guests can buy VIP tickets to see Rockman serving up her creations by purchasing regular event tickets online and selecting VIP Upgrade at checkout.

Also taking place on Friday, April 1, is a beer release at Meanwhile Brewing Co. in South Austin. The award-winning brewery will debut its new Glitter and Doom IPA at the party, with music from Rental Space and Ramzel, as well as can art, T-shirt design, and custom prints by Timo Kuilder. The brewery will also add Smokin Bahn Mi as the newest food truck to join its already stellar lineup, which includes Distant Relatives, Dough Boys, Pueblo Viejo, and Bésame.

An innovative and unique new ready-to-drink cocktail is now available throughout Austin. With no flavors (natural or artificial), Watertight Cocktails also boast no preservatives, additives, or stabilizers. Co-founded by Rhett Keiusler and Ryan Baird, the drink is made for enjoying on the water, making its springtime debut timely as Austinites get ready for months out on our local lakes and rivers. Find Watertight Cocktails around Austin now at this handy store locator.

And last but not least, a new festival is crawling into town in May: tickets are now available for the Keep Austin Weird Twist ‘N Snap Crawfish Boil on May 14 at Austin's Fiesta Gardens. Attendees will enjoy over 10,000 pounds of crawfish, food trucks, full bars, live musical performances, games, and a local market. For tickets and more information about the festival, which is produced by the company behind Austin’s Trail of Lights, head to