Editor's note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of Austin’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.
Openings and closings
On December 16, popular hospitality company ELM Group gave Austin travelers an early holiday gift. 24 Diner is now open at Gate 12 in the Austin Bergstrom-International Airport, according to a Facebook post. The menu includes favorites like burgers, shakes, and chicken and waffles, but unlike the flagship, it will not be open 24 hours. A rep for ELM said it will consider extending business until early morning if there is demand.
A new brewery is barreling onto 15435 Fitzhugh Rd. in March 2020. The aptly named Fitzhugh Brewery comes from father/daughter duo Kerbey Smith and Dubb Smith, the owners of the Pecan Springs Ranch wedding venue. Nathan Rice, currently at San Antonio’s Maverick Whiskey and a vet of New Braunfels Brewing Company and 3 Stars Brewing Company in Washington, D.C., will mind the kettles as head brewer. According to a rep, the operation will also include a food component handled by barbecue favorite Pok-e-Jo’s.
A new concept is headed to the former home of Piranha Killer Sushi at 207 San Jacinto Blvd., Ste. 202. A concept called Yoru (not Your as autocorrect demands) has applied for a mixed beverage and late hours permit at the address with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. No other details appear to be public. The spot does not appear to have established a web or social media presence.
Other news and notes
Online reservations platform OpenTable released its annual list of the top 100 restaurants in America on December 17 and only one Austin eatery made the cut. Clark’s Oyster Bar received the nod based on data like overall diner ratings, user clout, total number of reviews, and the regional overall rating. Other Texas restaurants to make the unranked honor roll include Arturo Boada Cuisine in Houston and Bistro 31 in Dallas.
Venerable sushi spot Uchi released its first wine on December 13. Uni, a 2016 Roussanne Chardonnay blend made in collaboration with Ballard Canyon, California-based winery Stolpman Vineyards, is meant to be paired with light menu items like sushi, sashimi, and nigiri. The wine is now available in all Uchiko and Uchi locations at $17 a glass and $67 per bottle.
Hye, Texas, distillery Garrison Brothers is bringing back its statewide bartender contest, Bourbon Brawl, in partnership with Texas Monthly. Mixologists are invited to submit recipes by January 5 in hopes of participating in five semi-finalists rounds held in Texas cities throughout the spring. The winners of those heats will converge on Austin on May 7 for a chance to win bragging rights and a $10,000 check.