As part of the ever-evolving food scene in Austin, it’s inevitable that Austin will welcome more than its fair share of dining destinations throughout the year, even in the dog days of summer. But developing a restaurant from start to finish is never as easy as it seems — especially with permitting, construction delays and inspection approvals to clear. While many restaurants hope to open their doors much sooner than they can possibly project, very rarely does everything run according to plan.
Here, we highlight the most anticipated spots that are sure to open their doors before the summer heat subsides.
Originally one of Austin’s first supper clubs hosting seasonal farm-to-table dinners at various places throughout town, Dai Due has built a veritable cult following that has owners Jesse Griffiths and Tamara Mayfield filling regular orders from loyal customers at the downtown farmers market each weekend. Now, they’re bringing the week-long wait to a halt offering everything from wild boar pho, brown-beer sausage and tasty Real Ale Fireman's #4 mustard on a daily basis in a new East Austin restaurant and shop.
Last week, Griffiths confirmed that construction is on schedule for a definite summer opening. Dai Due is expected to open sometime in July off of Manor Road.
Dang Banh Mi
Dang Bahn Mi is the result of two Texan-born brothers bringing their love for authentic Southeast Asian food to Austin, merging the best of Texas (local ingredients) and Vietnam (Banh mi) sandwiches. Following extensive travels to some of Vietnam’s top food cities, including Saigon, Hanoi and Da Nang, the business team of Dave Paul and brothers Sean and Mark Greenberg were determined to open the best Banh mi house in Austin. Their secret? Coveted 100-year-old recipes of Phuong, the owner of the Banh Mi Phuong street stand in Hoi An (the very one Anthony Bourdain touted in a No Reservations episode).
The restaurant will prepare a variety of Banh mi sandwiches using fresh ingredients — from vegetables and scratch sriracha to pate and fresh-baked baguettes — as well as a handful of rice vermicelli Bun bowls and traditional Pho soup. Dang is set to open on Research Boulevard near Burnet Road by the end of summer.
While Austin food fans were hoping to see this Southern-inspired restaurant open its doors as early as last fall, after a number of halts and construction setbacks, its fingers are crossed for an official August opening. The talented culinary team of chefs Michael Fojtasek and Grae Nonas whet local appetites with early pop-up dinners featuring a modern spin on classic Southern cooking. Barring no major complications, Olamaie’s publicist anticipates we can see the downtown restaurant open by August.
Mongers Market and Kitchen
Looking for a taste of the great bounty that the Texas Gulf Coast has to offer? Look forward to an evolving menu of fresh seafare from celebrated seafood purveyor Roberto San Miguel and former Kenichi chef Shane Stark at Mongers Market and Kitchen. The restaurant will have a retail side with take-away options and fresh fish selections available as well as a dine-in side with seasonal specials. According to Stark, Mongers is set to open by the end of summer on East Cesar Chavez.
“After a bit of a delay the construction on Mongers has really taken off,” says Stark. “The building is up, the patio is poured and work is moving along. We are looking at August as a ‘best case scenario’ to get into the building. That's if all goes smoothly — which is rare. We are excited to get open and looking forward to slinging some seafood.”
Sure, it may seem like a strange leap from Japanese-inspired cuisine to baked goods, but few people would have believed 10 years ago that a sushi restaurant in Austin would garner national attention and even James Beard Award nominations. According to Philip Speer, the team’s director of culinary operations and celebrated pastry chef, the concept will have pastries and fresh-baked breads for dine-in and retail customers as well as a wide variety of sandwiches, salads and desserts filtered through the creative talent of Uchi. (Instead of almond-filled croissants, think kimchi croissants.)
And while it’s true that there will be a handful of seasonal pizzas available, this venture is less an Italian-inspired concept than it is a celebration of the patron saint of baking. St. Philip is expected to open near the end of the summer.
Terry Black’s Barbecue
Mark and Mike Black, the great grandsons of Edgar Black of Central Texas’ famed Black’s Barbecue, will open their very own outpost for classic Texas smoked meats and homemade sides. Named after their father, the Barton Springs location, which will bring traditional Lockhart barbecue to the Austin city limits, could open as early as June.