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Photo courtesy of KVUE

Every item that artists sell at the Austin Creative Reuse Holiday Market is made out of material that had a previous life. But one look at Aileen Chen’s pieces, and you might wonder why her brand Revision Goods is at a reuse market.

Chen creates home goods from upcycled materials, but it doesn’t look like the typical material you would think of when you hear about repurposing fabric scraps. Chen gets much of her fabric from interior design firms or architectural firms that have extra materials.

"It's really quite a premium feel; It's upholstery,” Chen said.

Chen uses what is called “deadstock,” which is the leftover fabric when garment or other manufacturers buy and create a large bolt of fabric. Most of the time, this leftover fabric cannot be re-sold once it’s cut from the bolt, so it will get thrown away without ever getting touched.

"If nobody uses it, it actually goes to the landfill,” Chen said.

And to even create these large fabric bolts, it’ll cost a lot of wasted water. According to the World Wildlife Fund (in 2014), it takes 713 gallons, or 2,700 liters, of water to produce the cotton needed for one t-shirt. That’s equivalent to almost three years worth of drinking water.

This waste is what got Chen thinking she wanted to change the perspective of shoppers.

"I think there's sometimes that skepticism of, you know, ‘I want new things’ or ‘I want to gift new things,’ but I think as you think about how much material is out there, that actually is still very premium and also is really still beautiful and clean and usable,” Chen said.

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Read the full story and watch the video at KVUE.com.

Photo courtesy of Whataburger

Iconic Texas burger chain knits up new batch of holiday sweaters, socks, and more

Whatanoutfit

'Tis the season to wear your hamburger on your sleeve. If you've seen Texans repping Whatabuger in kooky holiday merch in your Christmas past, let us transport you to the future where you, too, can be decked in orange.

If you find yourself wondering who asked for this, the answer is a strong IDK, but people really eat up this holiday merch each year. Ugly sweaters, eat your hearts out.

shop.whataburger.com

The belle of this ball is the ever-popular sweater, which this year lays out Whataburger's most staple snacks in a blue-and-orange tile pattern. Patty melts, honey butter chicken biscuits (all hail the HBCB), and tries all make an appearance amidst little logos, Christmas ornaments, and snowflakes. This item has a history of selling out quickly.

Vintage lovers may be charmed by a navy blue crew neck sweater that turns down the silliness a lot for a retro, minimalist look. This one also tones down the holiday motifs for something that's wearable year-round ... if you can stand the warmth, anyway.

shop.whataburger.com

Also looking extremely cozy and year-round, if a little less publicly wearable, is the Whataburger Comfy Original. This bright orange, logo-tiled, and fur-lined pullover will have payed for itself by the time your lowered heating bill comes in. But if something with less sleeves is calling your name (and you're a size small and like a sale), a Charlie Brown-like orange sweater vest with Whataburger roof details is the move.

For a group gift, families and friends might love the matching pajama sets — it's Whataburger on top, Whataburger on the bottom, and just about as orange as clothes can get. These sets are available in both adult and child sizes.

Photo courtesy of Whataburger

Holiday shoppers looking for stocking stuffers or just something with a lower price tag may love the fry slippers — which make the wearer's feet look like they're stuffed into a carton of fries — a few different sock styles, several hat styles, games, and sort-of-subtle holiday decor like a nutcracker and an orange Santa ornament.

Whatever your holiday looks like, Whataburger knows it could always be more orange.

Shop the 2023 holiday collection at whataburger.com.

Courtesy of Loro

A barbecue favorite's second location tops this week's 5 most-read Austin stories

hot headlines

Editor’s note: It’s that time again — time to check in with our top stories. From new restaurants and stores to time spent behind the wheel, here are five articles that captured our collective attention over the past seven days.

1. Hometown heroes behind Asian smokehouse Loro to open 2nd Austin location. The famed chefs behind Franklin Barbecue and Uchi announced the new spot at Domain Northside for the end of 2024.

2. UT alums debut Rainey Street hotel with rooftop bar and local conscience. Opened by brothers David and Andrew Wood, the Cambria Hotel Austin Downtown stands 16 stories tall, right behind the Stay Put and Half Step.

3. 3 popular watch brands keep time with new stores in North Austin shopping center. Domain Northside will be home to three new watch companies starting at the end of 2023: Omega, Swatch, and Breitling.

4. Chinese fusion restaurant capturing national attention sets Austin debut. Zoé Tong opens November 8, bringing modern Chinese cuisine and Texan fare to the table.

5. Austin takes surprising ranking on list of hardest commutes in the U.S. Austin traffic may be among the worst in the nation, but it's looking good compared to some other big cities, according to a recent study by Forbes Home.

Photo courtesy of Jean Jones

Celebrate 30 Years of Sustainable Fashion with Jean Jones

Austin-based sustainable, fashion designer Jean Jones is hosting a 30th anniversary party, where guests can enjoy a live panel on sustainable fashion with Texas Monthly Executive Editor Kathy Blackwell, Jean Jones, and special guest, Leah Ashley Finn of Living with Leah.

In addition, the party will include a preview of Jean Jones' short documentary by filmmaker Sandra Dahdah, a pop-up of Jean Jones' clothing collection, plus additional sustainable fashion brand Her New Tribe. Alongside complimentary light bites and beverages from Fairweather Cider, there will also be wine tastings courtesy of BOXT wine, as well as gift bags for the first 20 attendees.

Photo courtesy of Domain NORTHSIDE

3 popular watch brands keep time with new stores in North Austin shopping center

time for a new watch

About a week after Austin's famous mall, The Domain, announced it would be housing two new luxury stores — Versace and Burberry — its next-door neighbor added some stylish stores with a theme.

Domain Northside will be home to three new watch companies starting at the end of 2023: Omega, Swatch, and Breitling.

This will give Austin shoppers a range of choices, from the very luxe to the relatively affordable for a watch aficionado — but in all cases, these statement pieces are more than a casual purchase.

All three brands are Swiss, and date back to the 1800s.

“As a timeless trend, watches will never go out of style,” said SVP of leasing for Northwood Retail, which owns and operates Domain Northside, Jacqueline Fitch. “These three businesses offer some of the best watch options on the market and we’re thrilled to bring this high quality group of tenants to the project.”

Omega is a well-known brand that rivals Rolex in quality and style, if not quite by auction prices. James Bond has worn an Omega Seamaster in every film since 1995. The brand is owned by Swatch, making this a double win for the Swiss watchmaker, which will offer less expensive, more whimsical pieces at its store. (Swatch also owns Balmain, which seems like it would be a great fit at The Domain given last week's news.)

Breitling is also a Swiss brand, but it isn't owned by Swatch. These more rugged pieces are still positioned as a luxury offering, with the price tags to match. Shoppers choosing between Omega and Breitling won't find much difference when it comes to finances.

Swatch will open first, during December of 2023. Omega and Breitling will follow in January of 2024.

Although The Domain and Domain Northside are functionally the same to anyone who is willing to cross Domain Drive, the two are separate entities with separate portfolios. Both contain luxury brands as well as more everyday shopping, and both offer more than just shopping, including dining and residential spaces.

Photo by Daniel Cavazos

Austin's festival season kicks off with fresh 'fits at ACL Fest 2023

Festival Flair

Editor's note: Most teens are not walking around festivals thinking about their dads' fashion sense, but photographer Ryder Cavazos has — and we don't say this lightly — a cool dad.

Daniel Cavazos has been shooting ACL Fest for a long time, and this year his style gallery includes a few highlights from his daughter's lens. From custom glitz to low-maintenance finds, here's some outfit inspiration as festival season kicks into high gear.

This is the last of our ACL Fest 2023 recaps — if you haven't updated your playlists yet, check for more highlights here. We can't wait to see you at the next event!

ACL Fest 2023 styleBrady RaggioPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleSoul and AngelPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleJulia NullPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleBethPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleCarmen and SamPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleMaksim Eckhart, Tye Schrieber, Nikolai EckhartPhoto by Ryder Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleAshley Galvan Photo by Ryder Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleDaniel from Jane LeoPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleBelle RedwinePhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleChelsea FreedPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleUT and Austin FC fanPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleZach KornblauPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleTabitha FordPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleWimbledon CrewPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleCorey, Matt, and Scottie BowlsbyPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleJane from Jane LeoPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleKathryn LegendrePhoto by Ryder Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleThe BossPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleDanielle RichardsPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleAndre UruenaPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleEllie from Die SpitzPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 style Aaron and KeithPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleJane Leo fanPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleAudrey and FriendPhoto by Daniel Cavazos

ACL Fest 2023 styleMelissa T. Photo by Daniel Cavazos

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2 very different arcades and a new IMAX theater press play in South Austin

players ready

No other part of town can beat South Austin when it comes to old school, outdoorsy entertainment, but the people down here want their screens, too. In between trips to McKinney Falls and the Far Out Lounge, South Austinites now have two more options for lights-out, tech-based entertainment.

First, Zero Latency, a "free roam" virtual reality space, is now open for group gaming. Hot on its heels, starting December 1, EVO Entertainment Belterra Village is adding an IMAX theatre for a higher-tech viewing experience and and an arcade, well, for a lot more fun.

Both are basically arcades, then, but with very different connotations. Zero Latency calls its 4000-square-foot space at Southpark Meadows an "arena," although visitors will really encounter an empty room. Once they put on the headset, the space will be transformed, and they will hopefully not bump into their pals — with up to eight people allowed in each room.

“It really is the best way to experience VR, whether you’re an experienced gamer or a first-timer," said venue owner Mohammad A. Edaibat in a release. "As an aerospace engineer that is specialized in simulation developments, I can confidently say [the] Zero Latency system does mimic the high-fidelity simulation systems used for serious training. I can see it being used not just for fun and entertainment but also for athleticism and serious competitions.”

The release lists five available games, including the new original game Outbreak, a teamwork game fighting a zombie virus, and and exclusive VR take on Ubisoft's first-person shooter Far Cry. This is the 80th location for Zero Latency, including one in North Austin. Its games have been played more than 3 million times worldwide.

The EVO tech will likely be more familiar to most Austinites, bringing the city's fourth IMAX theater (according to what's listed on Google Maps). This projection in particular is powered by lasers, resulting in a sharper picture. A release says the advanced audio system delivers "10x the dynamic range of standard sound systems," helping with even sound distribution to all seats in the theater. When it opens, guests can watch Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, Godzilla Minus One, or Napoleon.

Meanwhile, the brand-new arcade offers more than 35 games including Jurassic Park, Skee-Ball, Kong VR and a giant claw machine.

"We are thrilled to expand our entertainment experience by integrating IMAX's technology into our theatres," said Vivek Abichandani, vice president of strategy and corporate development at Elevate Entertainment Group (EEG), EVO's Austin-based parent company that also operates Violet Crown Cinemas and others. "We are setting a new standard for cinematic excellence, and we can't wait for our guests to experience the magic of movies like never before and enjoy our expanded entertainment offering at Belterra."

Zero Latency South Austin is located at 9900 I-35 Ste M500. EVO Entertainment Belterra Village is located at 166 Hargraves Dr., Austin, TX, 78737.

Long-vacant market in Austin scores new bowling alley tenant

spare warehouse

It's been eight years since the St. Elmo Public Market was announced in South Austin.

Now the renovated warehouse on South Congress Avenue will be morphed into a unique entertainment destination.

The market, which was originally supposed to open in 2018, has sat empty since 2022. Recently, the project was purchased by Nashville and New York-based firm SomeraRoad in November and leased to Pins Mechanical Company.

Pins Mechanical operates successful locations in the Midwest, including in cities like Cincinnati and Indianapolis. Now the firm hopes Pins Mechanical will bring the troubled warehouse to life.

"We’ve turned over a lot of stones looking for the right project in the right neighborhood," said SomeraRoad's Brock Kenyon. "The St. Elmo Public Market has incredible potential, and we’re excited to drive a new chapter for this project with Pins Mechanical."

Pins Mechanical said the St. Elmo location will feature 24 duckpin bowling lanes, more than 30 pinball machines, and more than 40 classic arcade games like "NBA Jam" and "Frogger."

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Read the full story and watch the video at KVUE.com.

'The twinkliest town in Texas' and 6 other Hill Country locales become Christmas wonderlands

SPARKLE MOTION

Though chance encounters with childhood sweethearts rarely happen between sips of hot cocoa, feeding one's most jolly Hallmark fantasies is perfectly fine. And let's face it, those warm fuzzies aren't always easy to find amongst Austin's seasonal glitz. That kind of holiday feeling is a decidedly small-town affair.

If you only get fresh air from a fourth-story balcony, it's time to head on a Texas road trip. Throughout December, the Hill Country rolls out the twinkle lights and garlands to give city slickers some Christmas razzle-dazzle. Unpack a cozy sweater, cue a playlist, and fire up the sleigh.

Dripping Springs
Though much of the season is geared around kids, the many distilleries, wineries, and breweries clustered around Dripping Springs offer some holiday fun for the adults. Hire a van to bop around some of Texas' most spirited spots, including Jester King Brewery, Vista Brewing, Desert Door Sotol, and Deep Eddy Vodka. If nap time doesn't completely waylay plans, Christmas on Mercer on December 2 is the perfect place for some buzzed shopping.

Fredericksburg
With its historic buildings and rows of quaint shops, Fredericksburg always seems ready to break into an Irving Berlin ditty. During Christmastime, the streets erupt into a full production number. Through January 7, 2024, the town's market square hosts a daily lighting ceremony showcasing tales of Fredericksburg's German heritage and Christmas carols. The Marktplatz also offers an ice-skating rink and one of Texas' most dazzling selfie spots: a 26-foot tall wooden spinning Christmas pyramid.

Georgetown
Forget Stars Hollow. Rory and Lorelai Gilmore's hometown wishes it could conjure up half the Yuletide magic as this Austin suburb. Visit the weekend of December 1 and 2 to catch the annual Christmas Stroll. The town's downtown hosts a family-friendly festival with vendors, live music, a parade, and plenty of festive food each year. And the Snow in the Park event ensures a White Christmas.

Johnson City
Johnson City's reputation as the "twinkliest town in Texas" isn't a mere boast. Its downtown display, illuminated through January 7, 2024, is truly a spectacle with more than two million bulbs glittering in the night sky. The Blanco County Courthouse is the sparkling hub of several community events throughout the season. Don't miss the annual chili cook-off on December 9, sponsored by some of the Hill Country's best wineries and distilleries.

Marble Falls
Sure, it sounds like a third grader's fever dream, but bumper cars on ice are actually a thing in Marble Falls — offering slip-sliding fun for those who have never heard of a salchow. Less bumpy are the other activities, from a pop-up s'mores bar on December 1 to weekend market days.

New Braunfels
Maybe it's the easygoing river lifestyle, but New Braunfels has always played by its own rules. That's especially true during the holiday season, when kids are delighted by visits from the chaps-clad Cowboy Kringle instead of good ole Saint Nick. That individualistic spirit carries over to the town's schedule of events, including a one-person telling of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol on December 3 and caroling at the Natural Bridge Caverns.

Wimberley
This charming hamlet has no shortage of holiday diversions like the annual Trail of Lights, a walking tour running through December 26. But before the stroll, expect to open the wallet. Wimberley Square is teeming with one-of-a-kind shops selling everything from boho Western gear to French country home goods. The hospitality scene is no slouch, either. Grab a quick pie at Community Pizza or splurge on shellfish and champagne at RR12 Supper Club.

Georgetown Christmas

Georgetown's downtown decked in its holiday finest.