Lauded San Antonio chef parts ways with luxury Austin hotel
Although San Antonio's Steve McHugh remains one of the most lauded chefs in Texas, Austinites will once again have to travel down I-35 to get a taste of James Beard-nominated cuisine. After less than a year in operation, his first forays into the Capital City dining scene — Luminaire and companion bar La Bis — quietly shuttered on January 1.
It's unclear why the business relationship was severed. The concepts' websites and social media accounts have been deleted with little fuss. Neither Hyatt Centric Congress Avenue nor McHugh's Landrace Group offered an explanation.
"We are thankful for our collaboration with Chef McHugh for our restaurant and bar concepts Luminaire and Las Bis," said Harrison Compton, general manager of the downtown property, via a statement. "We can confirm our hotel and Landrace Group, LLC have decided to part ways."
Although McHugh did issue a press release about the change of hands, he was similarly private.
"My experience working with the teams at Luminaire and Las Bis was deeply rewarding," said the acclaimed chef. "Their dedication to bringing my culinary vision to life at these two establishments never wavered."
Luminaire and La Bis debuted in February 2023 after months of anticipation. Both were ambitious projects, with Luminaire taking over the entire ground floor of the hotel and La Bis providing a splashy terrace bar. The cuisine at both hewed closely to McHugh's commitment to Texas sourcing, adding Spanish influences into the mix.
According to a representative of Hyatt Centric, the bar and restaurant remain operational under the temporary name 8th & Congress. New concepts are expected, but a timeline has not been divulged.
For his part, McHugh continues to be at the helm of Cured in the Pearl district and Landrace in downtown San Antonio's Thompson Hotel, also a Hyatt property.