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. But we have you covered with our regular roundup of the freshest Austin restaurant news.
In what will hopefully be the last shutter of the year, far Southwest deli Lox, Box & Barrel officially threw in the towel on November 21. In a Facebook post, the owner blamed a dispute with the landlord on the terms of a new lease. All is not lost, however. Owner Sebastien Caillabet is actively looking for a new location to bring the eatery back to life.
Speaking of comebacks, beloved vegan ice cream purveyor Sweet Ritual is celebrating its grand re-opening on December 15. The shop had been temporarily been selling treats out of the downtown Toy Joy while working on a remodel at its 4631 Airport Blvd. space. The roomier digs allow for more toppings; hand-rolled, gluten-free waffle cones; and a bigger shake selection.
An eighth location of stalwart Kerbey Lane Cafe is making its debut in Mueller beginning December 7. The latest location features a refresh of the chain’s look thanks to an interior from Richard Weiss of Weiss Architecture and interior designer interior design by Kris Swift of Future Design Now.
Also new to Mueller is the first U.S. location of Chihuahua, Mexico-based fast casual chain Woko Loko. Located at 1201 Barbara Jordan Blvd., the restaurant will start serving a menu of build-your-own noodle bowls on December 14, according to a company rep.
Shaved ice franchise Bahama Buck’s is opening a new shop at 3944 S. FM 620 Rd. in Bee Cave on December 11. The location will feature the chain's frosty menu of snow cones, smoothies, and signature sodas.
Some good news and some bad news. East Austin sandwich shop La Matta has launched breakfast service with a full coffee menu and two new focaccia paninis — one with an egg white omelette, spinach, Parmigiano, Fontina, zucchini, and basil and another with a full egg omelette, potatoes, Parmigiano, Taleggio, and mortadella. Unfortunately, the morning service comes at the cost of the eatery’s happy hour. New hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am-3 pm and Saturday and Sunday, 8 am- 4 pm.
Deep Eddy Vodka founder Gary Crowell and businessman Tim Osburn have started a new liquor brand called Goodnight Loving Vodka. Made with Texas artesian spring water and filtered six times, the brand was inspired by ’60s and ‘70s Americana. It can be found on the shelves of The Austin Wine Merchant, Far West Liquor and Fine Wines, select Twin Liquors, Davenport Wine & Spirits, The Austin Shaker, and Lakeway Spirits and served at The Clay Pit and Last Straw.
Two upcoming hospitality projects have hit a snag with liquor sales. Due to their close proximity to the Texas School for the Deaf on South Congress Avenue, Bunkhouse Group’s upcoming Hotel Magdalena and the exclusive members-only Soho House have run afoul of an Austin code that requires any establishment selling alcoholic beverages to be at least 300 feet away from a public school. Both entities are seeking a waiver at a public hearing set for 4 pm on December 13 at City Hall.
A new concept is moving into 3715 S. First St. Ste. A, the former home of Porter Ale House & Gastropub. Although an application has been made for a mixed beverage permit with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, little else is known about Oak Bar and Grill. There appears to be no web presence established yet for what we assume will indeed be a bar and grill.
As promised in March, shuttered food truck My Name is Joe is continuing mission to raise awareness about drug and alcohol addiction. On December 14, Joe chef Philip Speer and Dai Due Taqueria’s Gabe Erales will be hosting a fundraising dinner for nonprofit treatment center Serenity Star Recovery and its donation-based restaurant Comfort Cafe in Smithville at Juniper. Tickets can be secured by DMing the My Name is Joe Instagram account.