On May 10, when CultureMap published 2019’s most anticipated restaurants, it appeared North Austin would have to wait until summer to see the second location of District Kitchen + Cocktails. A few days later, owners Amir and Ali Hajimaleki announced that May 14 was opening day.
The brothers took over the former location of Suzi’s China Grill at 7858 Shoal Creek Blvd. in December 2018 after the restaurant’s longtime proprietor, Suzi Yi, decided to retire. The District team immediately got to work, updating the space with deep red walls, rough hewn wood furniture, and reclaimed artwork in keeping with the concept’s contemporary industrial branding.
According to a release, the menu will also be familiar to fans of the Slaughter Lane original. Amir, working with chef de cuisine MacKenzie Viglianco and pastry chef Dennis Van, has brought over the same New American dinner menu to the new outpost, including favorites like Texas Wagyu steak with chimichurri, roasted red potatoes, and truffle aioli; Spanish octopus with chorizo, corona beans, and a cucumber herb salad; and classic Southern shrimp and grits.
Unlike the South Austin locale, however, the new District is open for lunch. In addition to popular dinner items, the team has created new dishes like a chicken and brie sandwich with apricot mostarda on an Easy Tiger roll and a light Ora King salmon salad with mango, avocado, jicama, and a coconut lime vinaigrette.
As the name implies, cocktails are an integral part of the operation. Classic cocktails include a daiquiri with vanilla-infused rum, an Old Fashioned with choice of spirit, and a New Orleans Sazerac. Signature cocktails take the program in a more contemporary direction, with unexpected flavors like rhubarb and fig chai.
Starting May 14, District will offer weekday lunch from 11 am to 4 pm. Dinner service begins at 4 pm and lasts through 10 pm Monday through Thursday, 11 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 9:30 pm on Sunday. The restaurant's happy hour (3-6 pm weekdays and 4-6 pm Sundays) have also been launched with specials on beer, wine, mixed drinks, and bites like street tacos and Hog Wings.