Photo courtesy of JewBoy Sliders

Fareground, the convenient and delicious sunken food hall at Congress and Cesar Chavez, is always changing things up. This time, that means two new restaurants — and they couldn’t be more different. If deciding between burgers and salads is an issue for the lunch company you keep, Fareground offers peace in JewBoy Sliders and Freshii, two new additions.

Whether you like your burgers medium or well-done, JewBoy Burgers is on fire. A 2023 nominee for CultureMap’s Tastemaker Awards, this burger baron impressed guests at our Tailgate event, represented Austin Jews to Israelis in a food-focused TV series, and maintains one of the best Google Maps ratings in the city.

JewBoy Sliders sandwich with fries

Photo courtesy of JewBoy Sliders

The local JewBoy empire expands a little further with the addition of JewBoy Sliders at Fareground.

Starting April 24, it will be slinging sliders, paring down as a common twist for Fareground tenants who need to adapt to a quicker service atmosphere. This venture joins JewBoy Burgers and JewBoy Sub Shop in offering unctuous American sandwiches with Jewish twists, like latkes as toppings.

A preview promises slider-scale renditions of the burger joint’s classics, plus “reuben, french dip and falafel sliders.” Cold sliders will also make an appearance, with more deli-style meats like chicken salad and tuna, plus fried sides, and even a salad.

“We are thrilled to bring JewBoy Sliders to Fareground,” said owner and executive chef Mo Pittle. “Fareground gives tastemakers like myself a brick & mortar to grow and share our creations with customers in the heart of downtown Austin, who may not otherwise have had the chance to meet us or taste what we have to offer.”

Freshii also brings an international perspective that blends in after centuries of assimilation, but on a much less local basis. The Canadian fast-casual franchise operates hundreds of restaurants in Canada alone, plus a few more each in several U.S. states.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area houses the densest pocket of stores outside of a border state, and the Austin area has been enjoying one location in Cedar Park since 2018. The new Fareground location is open now.

The health food store offers all of the usual suspects — salads, wraps, bowls, soups, cold drinks, and more — in an affordable, made-to-order format. Considering the health of the community as well as its food, Freshii will donate $1 from every Fareground location order to the Central Texas Food Bank.

The two new restaurants join Austin Rôtisserie, Little Wu, and Taco Pegaso to provide a wide range of small and customizable foods at the self-identified restaurant “incubator.” Ellis by Fareground and Drink (stylized DRINK) both focus more on cocktails, and Austin Snack Co. provides a self-service option.

Visit Fareground and its vendors for indoor and outdoor dining at 111 Congress Avenue. More information is available at faregroundaustin.com.

The Soup Peddler/Facebook

Favorite Austin soup spot simmers into shuttered juice joint near Jewish cultural hubs

Ladle and dreidel

It may seem odd for a soup-focused restaurant to be so popular in such a warm locale, but Austin loves the Soup Peddler for its versatility and humility. Soup is always accessible, and now it’s even more so with a seventh location opening soon on Far West Boulevard.

The space (near Biderman’s Deli and the Shalom Austin campus) was previously occupied by Daily Juice, which, after 20 years in business, closed the last of its locations on January 22. Juice lovers who frequented the spot will be pleased to find that the Soup Peddler has plenty on its menu. In addition to fresh-pressed juices, it offers smoothies with unique add-ins like local bee pollen and raw hemp protein.

True to the Soup Peddler’s flexible origins — David Ansel was delivering soups by bike to an eclectic fan base of Austin archetypes — its menu is fluid. The family-owned chain offers different menus at each location, with some constant staples like beef bone broth, and a long list of rotating soups waiting for their next chance to shine, including harder-to-find favorites like Hungarian goulash and watermelon gazpacho.

As any great Austin staple would, the Soup Peddler offers lots of vegetarian options as well as some to heat at home. To complement something like a tomato basil (another permanent menu item), a guest may also order grilled cheese or a salad. Everything, no matter how adventurous the ingredients, easily remains a comfort food.

Few Austin businesses can relate so closely to the woes of Daily Juice as the Soup Peddler can; for about a decade, the niche soup seller operated on a delivery-only basis, opening its first brick-and-mortar in 2010 and still faltering during the pandemic, when a 3rd Street location folded less than a year after opening.

Still, having relied on a neighborhood reputation throughout, the Soup Peddler has found resilience in being flexible while continuing to serve the community immediately around it. This time, according to a press release, the team is excited to cater to the Jewish community nearby.

So far, there is no opening date, but the new location should be at 3720 Far West Boulevard, #105, “soon.” More information about existing locations is available at souppeddler.com.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Austin wakes up and smells the brews at 2nd annual coffee festival

cool beans

Making a cup of coffee is one of the most ritualistic morning activities for millions of people every day. It's a truly customizable experience: You can use pre-ground coffee or grind whole beans yourself, and there are many different brewing methods, such as a traditional drip coffeemaker, a moka pot, or an AeroPress.

The local coffee community in Austin is in a world of its own, and coffee aficionados can enjoy a special weekend all to themselves to meet their favorite local roasters at the second annual Austin Coffee Festival on September 30 and October 1 at Fair Market.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own reusable cups to enjoy endless coffee tastings from about two dozen well-known Austin roasters like Merit Coffee Co., Medici Roasting, Barrett's Coffee Roasters, and Greater Goods Coffee Co. Master roasters can help newcomers learn more about coffee, and local musicians will provide the soundtrack for the weekend.

If you're not a coffee drinker but would still like to tag along, there will be non-coffee options available, like tea tastings from Kilogram Tea and Kinship Milk Tea. Snacks will be available for purchase from Gelu Italian Ice and casual Mexican mini-chain Pueblo Viejo.

Additional roasters that will be at the festival include:

  • Creature Coffee
  • Red Horn Brew
  • Malone Specialty Coffee
  • Fara Coffee
  • Intelligenista
  • Kimbala
  • Sightseer Coffee Roasters
  • Vision
  • Springtown Roasters
  • Casa Brasil
  • Hard Charger Coffee
  • Haciendo Coffee Roasters
  • Carta Coffee Merchants
  • Dog Day Coffee
  • Tianon Coffee
  • Little City Coffee Roasters
  • Wild Gift Coffee
  • Luna Espresso

ATX Theatre, Topo Chico, Oatly, Mill-King, Minor Figures, and Loveramics will also be in attendance.

More information about the festival and tickets (beginning at $25) can be found on austincoffeefestival.com.

Country star Kane Brown set to land in Austin as part of new 'In the Air' tour

big daddy kane

Country singer Kane Brown will return to the road in 2024 with the 29-city In the Air tour, which will culminate with a stop at Toyota Center on April 28.

Starting on March 28 in Charlottesville, Virginia, the tour will play 2-3 shows a week through the beginning of June at arenas, including in Houston on April 28 and Austin on April 29. He'll end his tour in Arlington, Texas on September 14.

For the final five shows on the tour, Brown will switch to stadiums, including the last show at Globe Life Field. Brown will be joined by Tyler Hubbard and Parmalee in both Austin and Houston.

Just like his previous Drunk or Dreaming Tour, which he just finished in early September, Brown will be touring in support of his 2022 album, Different Man. Although it was the first of his three albums not to go to No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts (it charted at No. 2), it still notched four top 10 songs.

The new tour's title, In the Air, is a reference to Brown's new single, “I Can Feel It,” which samples Phil Collins’ legendary drum solo and single from “In the Air Tonight.”

Fans can register now at kanebrownmusic.com for the artist pre-sale starting on Tuesday, October 3, at 10 am ET time. Tickets forthe tourwill go on-sale to the general public on Thursday, October 5, at 10 am local time.


  • Thursday, March 28, 2024: Charlottesville, VA, John Paul Jones Arena
  • Friday, March 29, 2024: Pittsburgh, PA, PPG Paints Arena
  • Saturday, March 30, 2024: Newark, NJ, Prudential Center
  • Thursday, April 4, 2024, Detroit, MI, Little Caesars Arena
  • Friday, April 5, 2024: Toronto, ON, Scotiabank Arena
  • Saturday, April 6, 2024: Buffalo, NY, KeyBank Center
  • Thursday, April 11, 2024: Kansas City, MO, T-Mobile Center
  • Friday, April 12, 2024: Rosemont, IL, Allstate Arena
  • Thursday, April 18, 2024: Des Moines, IA, Wells Fargo Arena
  • Friday, April 19, 2024: Minneapolis, MN, Target Center
  • Saturday, April 20, 2024: Grand Forks, ND, Alerus Center
  • Friday, April 26, 2024: Lubbock, TX, United Supermarkets Arena
  • Saturday, April 27, 2024: Houston, Toyota Center
  • Sunday, April 28, 2024: Austin, TX, Moody Center
  • Thursday, May 9, 2024: Eugene, OR, Matthew Knight Arena
  • Friday, May 10, 2024: Sacramento, CA, Golden 1 Center
  • Saturday, May 11, 2024: Sacramento, CA, Golden 1 Center
  • Friday, May 17, 2024: Salt Lake City, UT, Delta Center
  • Saturday, May 18, 2024: Las Vegas, NV, T-Mobile Arena
  • Sunday, May 19, 2024: Tempe, AZ, Boots In The Park
  • Thursday, May 30, 2024: Orlando, FL, Amway Center
  • Friday, May 31, 2024: Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
  • Saturday, June 1, 2024: Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
  • Friday, June 7, 2024: Raleigh, NC, PNC Arena
  • Saturday, June 8, 2024: Atlanta, GA, State Farm Arena
  • Thursday, June 20, 2024: Milwaukee, WI, Summerfest
  • Saturday, July 20, 2024: Boston, MA, Fenway Park
  • Friday, August 16, 2024: Seattle, WA, T-Mobile Park
  • Saturday, August 24, 2024: Los Angeles, CA, BMO Stadium
  • Friday, September 6, 2024: Denver, CO, Coors Field
  • Saturday, September 14, 2024: Arlington, TX, Globe LIfe Field

One of the oldest breweries in North Austin shuts down after 15-year run

cherish the memories

The Austin beer community will surely miss this brewer. Circle Brewing Company, one of the oldest breweries in North Austin, is shutting down operations at its longtime Braker Lane location and its 23-acre property in Elgin.

Although a statement on the Circle Brewing website doesn't give a clear reason for its closing, founders Ben Sabel and Judson Mulherin alluded to ongoing financial troubles since the company's inception at the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis.

"As became a recurring motif for us, this was the first major example of our flawless business timing," the statement said. "With far too much optimism and not nearly enough money, we opened our doors with two draft beers (Blur Texas Hefe and Envy Amber) and barely a dozen draft accounts."

Sabel and Mulherin shared their story of the company's resilience despite financial setbacks, relying on the local community and other small Central Texas breweries.

"In our first two years of operation, we were so broke that we couldn't even afford to buy yeast," they wrote. "But the Austin brewing community and the real spirit of camaraderie was such that we just had to drive out to Blanco and fill up a few corny kegs from our friends at Real Ale. In the coming years, we'd come to owe countless other members of the local brewing community thanks for all the advice, friendships, and assistance."

Circle Brewing had only opened its Elgin location in May 2023, after six years of planning and three years of extended buildout due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company's goal with the 23-acre property was to grow all the ingredients needed to use in their beers and develop a fully Texan-made, sustainable beer.

"Our biggest regret is not having the time to see our vision through and fulfilling the enormous potential we know would have paid off enormously," the website said. "It was so close to becoming reality. We're sorry we didn't have the time to see it to the end."

The Braker Lane location is fully closed, but Sabel and Mulherin said they are attempting to remain open at their Elgin facility for "at least another week." All of the company's remaining beer and merchandise will be sold at heavy discounts until Friday, September 22.

More information about the company shutdown can be found on circlebrewing.com.