Fire it Up
H-E-B's Mueller store secretly adds food hall, bar, and barbecue restaurant
What's the only thing Texans like better than H-E-B? An H-E-B with a food hall and True Texas BBQ. The east side is getting just that — plus a dose of Top Chef talent — in late August.
The San Antonio-based grocer said that after "months of renovations and top secret plans," the H-E-B store inside the Mueller development is adding a food hall, bar, and an outpost of True Texas BBQ. This marks Austin's second True Texas location. The first opened in South Austin in May, and additional locations are in the works at H-E-B's Tarrytown and South Congress locations.
Along with the homegrown barbecue chain, named among the state's best by Texas Monthly, the food hall will be anchored by a concept from Top Chef season 7 star Tiffany Derry.
The shining star of Main Streat (get it?) will be Derry's Roots Chicken Shak, a restaurant specializing in duck-fat fried chicken and Southern fare. This will be the first Austin restaurant for the reality star, who has also appeared on Bar Rescue, Top Chef Junior, and Chopped Junior, among others. Roots Chicken Shak opened its first location in Plano in 2017.
"We know that our community is struggling with health, economic, and social justice challenges and we hope to bring comfort with our Roots’ cooking as well as join the Austin community to help make a positive difference," said Derry, who serves on the board of directors of Food Policy Action and is as an ambassador for the Beard Foundation’s food waste initiative.
Joining True Texas BBQ and Roots Chicken Shak in the food hall are Calle Taqueria, a street taco-inspired restaurant; Yumai Japanese Grill, specializing in rice and noodle bowls and Japanese-style skewers; and gourmet grilled cheese shop The Meltery.
The Bar at Mueller will also serve small plates and snacks, but the star, of course, is the booze. Patrons can sip from a full menu of cocktails, draft beers, and wines. Texas brews and varietals will also be highlighted.
“We are thrilled to finally be able to share this news with our neighbors, and we hope they all agree it has been worth the wait,” said Kristin Irvin, Director Made to Order Restaurants at H-E-B. “Chef Tiffany Derry makes incredible food, and more than that, she is an incredible person. Her passion for increasing food education and access and addressing racial inequity is inspiring and mirrors our beliefs, and we are honored to partner with her in the Austin community.”
In celebration of the opening, H-E-B is donating to Austin-based nonprofit Urban Roots and the William B. Travis Institute of Hospitality and Culinary Arts at Travis High School.