Shining Star

Iconic Austin Tex-Mex restaurant serves up reopening plans and new look

Iconic Austin Tex-Mex restaurant serves up reopening plan and new look

Trudy's queso fajita enchiladas
Trudy's South Star reopens July 1. Photo by Amy Dennis

The rejuvenated Trudy’s Tex-Mex restaurant mini-chain is unveiling its new look and new menu Thursday, July 1.

The revival of Trudy’s will take a bow at the reopening of the Austin company’s South Star location, at 901-C Little Texas Lane in South Austin. Diners will be able to partake of some new menu items, such as:

  • Trudy’s Taco Tots, served with queso, spiced beef, pico de gallo, sour cream, pickled jalapeño, avocado salsa, and queso cotija.
  • Shaken Ceviche Cocktail with mahi-mahi, shrimp, avocado cucumber pico de gallo, and Trudy’s cocktail sauce.

Favorites remaining on the menu include stuffed avocado, migas, fajitas, and enchiladas.

“It’s such an honor to be involved with these restaurants and make sure Trudy’s remains a long-standing part of our city. I truly believe in retaining the legacy of the brand while breathing new life into the restaurants,” Trudy’s co-owner and CEO Dan Smith says in a news release.

Diners at the South Star location will find vibrant interior walls, accents, and textures; newly upholstered seating; updated tables; a rose-patterned mural accentuated by the new Trudy’s logo; and a wall showcasing portraits of the 10 “Women of Trudy’s.”

The logo features a winking woman wearing a large flower, a scarf, and a wide-brimmed hat adorned with a star. The logo’s image and lettering are predominantly red, complemented by a splash of turquoise.

The new logo aligns with the new Women of Trudy’s program, which pays tribute to 10 local women who are “pillars of the community,” including a teacher, nurse, and welder.

The South Star restaurant will be the first Trudy’s location to roll out the refreshed menu, décor, and branding. Trudy’s North Star, in North Austin, will close for renovations in late June and reopen in late July. The original Texas Star location, near the University of Texas campus, is being revitalized now and is set to reopen later this summer. The Texas Star restaurant sustained heavy damage in a November 2019 fire.

The previous owner of Trudy’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year. North Carolina-based private equity firm Hargett Hunter Capital Management subsequently bought Trudy’s (along with sister restaurant South Congress Cafe) for $6.5 million in a bankruptcy auction and tapped Smith, an Austin restaurateur, to run the brand. Smith is co-owner of Trudy’s, founded in 1977, as well as Austin’s iconic Scholz Garten.