new and new and new
New one-of-a-kind culinary playground keeps restaurant debuts coming in Austin
A new kind of playground is making its way to Central Austin, hoping to make the culinary dreams of local chefs into reality.
The “launchpad” serves both as a 75-seat restaurant and a community space for chefs and restaurateurs to experiment before venturing out on their own. Each new concept in the making will reside at Playground for a short period before making room for the next. The compound concept is spearheaded by the new Austin-based hospitality group Tykhe Group, founded by sisters Sue Kim-Drohomyrecky and Katie Kim.
The Kim sisters are no strangers to the restaurant industry. Sue Kim-Drohomyrecky has more than two decades of experience under her belt with successful eateries in Chicago, and played a key role in the opening of beloved South Congress staple Aba. Katie Kim also serves as chief development officer at Tykhe Group and has decades of experience in business management.
The idea was born out of the desire to help community members who aspire to open a restaurant or food truck, but may not have the tools or knowledge.
“For popular food trucks and aspiring restaurateurs hoping to chase their dreams and open their own brick-and-mortar, it’s overwhelming on where to begin in this industry,” said Sue Kim-Drohomyrecky in a press release. “Austin’s filled with bright culinary talent, which is why we want to streamline the process and provide a stable environment where food, community, and innovation come together.”
East Meets Wings will be the first “innovative experience” to debut at Playground, serving modern takes on dishes inspired by the flavors, culture, and cooking techniques of Asia — from Indonesia to the Sichuan region. This eatery is the latest venture of Kevin and Rosie Truong, the former owners of the now-closed Fil 'n Viet food trailer. Playground visitors have the opportunity to taste and support East Meets West until April 2024, when a new tenant will take its place.
The rotating lineup is part of Tykhe Group’s effort to help these businesses flourish on their own. Once the restaurateurs get exposure to the “ins and outs of the industry,” as a release puts it, they’ll have the opportunity to further collaborate with Tykhe Group on funding and securing a standalone concept.
Playground also hopes to become a go-to place for the community to gather by hosting events, pop-ups, fundraisers for local nonprofits, and curated chef dinners.
East Meets Wings and Playground ATX are hosting a joint grand opening on November 15 at 5001 Airport Blvd. The first 50 customers will receive free wings, and the following 50 will receive discounts for their next visit. Operating hours are Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm; Friday and Saturday until 10 pm.
Tykhe Group is currently looking for culinary entrepreneurs to join Playground. More information is available at playground-atx.com.