H-E-B is firing up the open date for its new South Austin store — and the city's first True Texas BBQ. The San Antonio-based grocer will open the doors of its newest location at 8801 S. Congress Ave., near the corner of Slaughter Lane and I-35, on June 10.
For those who have followed this $200 million project, it isn't so much a grocery store as it is a destination, complete with the city's first-ever outpost of True Texas BBQ, named the best barbecue chain in Texas last year by Texas Monthly.
True Texas BBQ will offer indoor and outdoor seating, H-E-B's first children's indoor play area, and even a drive-thru. (There will also be a drive-thru for the pharmacy, which is important but maybe not as exciting.)
Inside, the nearly 130,000-square-foot space will offer an expanded organic foods and Healthy Living department (this is Austin after all); expanded beer and wine department (again, this is Austin); bakery with Tortilleria; full-service meat market and seafood counter; expanded grab-and-go section; and Texas Backyard, a section offering "products for grilling, gardening, and outdoor entertaining."
H-E-B will celebrate the grand opening of its newest store with donations of $70,000 to local nonprofit organizations and surrounding schools — a common practice for the beloved Texas chain.
Sadly, one grocery store door cannot slide open without a few closing, and H-E-B also announced that June 5 will be the final day for its store at South First Street and William Cannon Drive. The company has committed to providing free CapMetro bus passes to those customers who live near the shop at 600 William Cannon Dr. and has made a $20,000 donation to the Capital Area Food Bank in honor of its closing.
On May 19, H-E-B also indefinitely postponed the construction date for its anticipated South Congress and Oltorf shop, saying: "As the company adjusts to the new realities of these changing times, H-E-B has had to adapt its business, and this includes making some changes to other Austin store opening and construction schedules."
That location was originally scheduled to close March 22 to begin construction on another massive, 130,000-square-foot complex with a food hall and beer garden. In early March, H-E-B postponed it, saying it was "push[ing] the South Congress H-E-B construction start back a bit."
On May 19, the company said it was once again delaying construction but would not offer a timeline for the new shop.
“This is a special store, and we will move forward with construction when we are certain our plan offers the dynamic and innovative shopping experience our loyal and deserving South Congress customers will be proud of for decades to come,” said Leslie Sweet, H-E-B director of public affairs, in the release. “This is a postponement only. We remain deeply committed to bringing South Congress customers an iconic store that will offer a unique, world-class shopping experience.”