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New speakeasy sneaks onto Sixth Street, plus more Austin food news

New speakeasy sneaks onto Sixth Street, plus more Austin food news

J. Stephens
J. Stephens is the latest bar to sneak onto Austin's bustling speakeasy scene. J. Stephens/Facebook

Editor's note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the what’s what and who’s who of Austin food. We have you covered with our regular roundup of the freshest Austin restaurant news.

ATX Brands, known for high-profile eateries like Happy Chicks and BBG’s (a family-friendly rework of the Bikinis "breastaurant" chain), has a decidedly more hush-hush new project. J. Stephens, a new speakeasy from ATX brands, quietly opened at 214 E. Sixth St. on August 22 with a menu of classic cocktails. The entrance is tucked into an alley behind Happy Chicks and BBG’s. Revelers can find it by looking for a red light.

In other bar news, “Mayor of Sixth Street” Bob Woody is turning the last house on Rainey Street into a new tavern, according to a beverage permit filing with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Details are slim about the 71 Rainey St. project, but Woody says he will share more as the concept develops.

A California chain known for Asian-Hispanic cuisine is opening its first Austin-area locations. Zero Degrees, specializing in Instagrammable drinks like mangonadas and milk teas and snacks like elotes and popcorn chicken, will open at 800 W. Whitestone Blvd., Ste. B5 in Cedar Park and 4211 S. Lamar Dr., Ste. A4 in Austin by the end of 2019. CultureMap has reached out to the company for exact opening dates.

Caffe Medici is opening its sixth location at 1023 Springdale Rd. on September 4. The outpost, which features the brand’s first roasting facility, will join several hospitality projects at the Springdale General development, including temaki spot Uroko and casual bar The Front Page. Farmers market favorite Julie Myrtille Bakery is also set to open a storefront by the end of the year.

A new farm-to-table restaurant is coming to Georgetown in 2020. The aptly named 2020 Market Scratch Kitchen & Bar, located at 1500 Rivery Blvd. near the Sheraton Austin Georgetown Hotel off I-35, will focus on Texas sourcing and will have a broad wine list.

La Condesa's Rick Lopez is reuniting with his former Cafe Boulud colleagues for two special events in September. First up is ¡El Grito!, a Mexican Independence Day pop-up starting at 6 pm on September 16, followed by the launch of collaborative chef series Sobremesa all evening September 17. Both events will take place at La Condesa and feature chefs Drake Leonards (Eunice, Houston) and Aaron Bludorn (a contestant on Netflix’s The Final Table). Tickets for ¡El Grito! are $25, and reservations are recommended for Sobremesa.

Popular Austin food blogger Jane Ko of A Taste of Koko is publishing her first book, Koko’s Guide to Austin. Locals will be able to snag copies at a launch party from 7-9:30 pm at Ellis on September 12. Expect light bites from Fareground food hall, cocktails, and lots of selfie opportunities. Tickets are $20-$40.