Upscale Austin hotel reveals rooftop restaurant replacing Wax Myrtle's
Folks downing their drinks with a streamlined "salud" have a chance to spice things up. The more shots-inclined crowd may favor the chant, "arriba, abajo, al centro, y pa' dentro," and at the rooftop restaurant replacing the islandy Wax Myrtle's, it's practically required.
Arriba Abajo Rooftop Cantina, shared between sister hotels Thompson Austin and Tommie Austin, will be making its debut in March on the fourth-floor "entertainment deck." It'll offer views of the city's skyline along with Mexican cuisine especially inspired by Oaxaca, Yucatan, and Tulum.
The hotel announced in mid-December of 2023 that it would close Wax Myrtle's (despite a very strong local reputation) at the end of that month, making this quite a fast turnaround. The statement was clear that a new concept would be coming in early 2024, but hadn't specified what exactly it would be. The Arriba Abajo announcement on February 5, 2024, does not mention the former concept, but a description of the locales (the shared space between the hotel concepts on the fourth floor) is identical.
“We’re thrilled to introduce Arriba Abajo to the Austin community and bring a new distinct culinary offering to guests of Thompson and Tommie,” said both hotels' managing director Nate Hardesty in the press release. “Our hope is to create a destination that locals and guests can celebrate."
Part of the game plan, Hardesty explains, is ensuring that the surrounding entertainment will flow into the shared space, with "curated activations." In marketing jargon, that usually means things like tastings featuring a partner brand's product or collaborations with other industry specialists.
One of those specialists is Chef Marc Marrone, who serves as head of culinary development for Hyatt. Marrone seems to favor pasta on social media, although his Mexican chops have been maintained through recent work with Nevada's Cantina Tequila.
There's not much information yet detailing what the menu at Arriba Abajo will look like, except that there will be both small and large sharing plates. Of course, the beverage program is where the real action is: expect craft cocktails, wines, and "unique mezcal" selections," with a private tasting room for the Mexican spirit.
As at any local bar, the atmosphere is paramount. Although the restaurant and bar will surely be a popular weekend destination, the release positions it as an "unexpected destination ideal for weekday lunches," too. In addition to the dining room, diners are invited to hang out on the rooftop pool deck with its own bar and enjoy some social continuity between locals and hotel guests. The people watching will be rich, as the space looks out over an event space called Bayberry Room.
“I’m excited to bring a fun new dining concept to the city of Austin whose menu fuses together the best of Mexico from coast to coast,” said Chef Marrone in the release. “We look forward welcoming guests to gather, drink, dine and enjoy the skyline views from our rooftop oasis time and time again.”
In addition to Wax Myrtle's and now Arriba Abajo, the Thompson is home to a pair of concepts by the highly regarded Southern chef Mashama Bailey, Diner Bar and The Grey Market. The latter is a spin-off of Bailey's famous restaurant The Grey in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia. Tommie also operates a coffee bar.
Arriba Abajo is scheduled to open March 1, 2024. More information will be available soon at hyatt.com.