Elon Musk may be moving to Texas, but another tech billionaire isn't following in his footsteps. Oracle founder Larry Ellison announced while he is leaving California, he is headed for blue waters.
We've compiled the latest Austin news and information to help you keep up with interesting stories and breaking news around the city. Here is what we have shared so far this week:
Dec. 15: Housing market isn't matching historic trends this time of year and 4 more headlines you might've missed
Real estate immune to pandemic: Austin's housing market was already hot before major tech companies started relocating here. KXAN reports that record-low housing inventory is causing homes to sell faster—35 days—and at higher levels—$441,000 median sales price—in Austin than usual. Even the usual holiday sales dip seems unlikely this year, experts claim.
Another Silicon Valley departure: Oracle may be moving here, but Oracle's founder is heading the other direction. Billionaire Larry Ellison already moved from California to Hawaii, using "the power of Zoom" to keep connected with the continental U.S. Ellison, the world's seventh-wealthiest person, also has some business interests in Hawaii, Austin Business Journal reports.
Return of The Pier?: Historic restaurant The Pier on Lake Austin could soon return long after being forced to shut down in the mid-2000s, but it won't make any progress until at least January, Austin Monitor reports. The Pier, a Lake Austin restaurant for 47 years, is attempting to reopen at its old location but requires a zoning change to make needed repairs. A Lake Travis version of the restaurant was short-lived.
Tiny desk treatment: Black Pumas recently hosted an at-home, stripped-down set for the Tiny Desk music series hosted by NPR. Playing a Tiny Desk show has become a right of passage for many musicians, adding to the accolades Black Pumas has received this year, including three more Grammy nominations to follow up their Best New Artist nod.
P. Terry's ventures south: The 19th location of P. Terry's Burger Stand will debut Wednesday in New Braunfels, representing the Austin-based chain's southernmost location yet. It's a precursor to P. Terry's first San Antonio location, CultureMap reports, originally scheduled for this fall but moved to summer 2021.
Dec 14: H-E-B responds to reports and 4 more headlines you might've missed
HEB leadership responds: After last week's report from VICE that anti-maskers caused H-E-B to relax mask enforcement, Austin Business Journal talked with one of the grocery company's executives about mask use in stores and supply chain issues. Just as VICE reported, ABJ learned that mask-less patrons are not forced to leave H-E-B stores.
Country great dies of COVID-19: Charley Pride, a country music legend and trailblazer, died this weekend from COVID-19 complications. Pride, 86, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame 20 years ago, becoming the first Black singer to receive such recognition. He's also one of only three Black members of the legendary country music venue Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Austin City Limits TV recognized his 1981 performance during Season 6 of the long-running live music series.
Latin voices during the pandemic: Voces Oral History Center has interviewed nearly 100 people as part of its "Voices of the Pandemic" project documenting how the Latinx community members has coped with COVID-19. Austin Monthly profiled The University of Texas project, which began in 1999 well before the pandemic.
Hemp farmers in Hays County: The first-ever Taste of Texas Hemp Cup, a contest recognizing the state's top hemp farmers, took place this weekend in Hays County. Hemp, used to produce legal CBD products sold in Texas, looks like marijuana but doesn't give you the psychoactive effect of THC. KVUE reports the contest attracted hemp growers from the far corners of the state.
Stock cars at COTA: When NASCAR visits the Circuit of the Americas racing venue next year, the entirety of the 3.41-mile road course will be utilized. Originally designed for Formula 1 racing, COTA has 20 turns as opposed to oval track used in most NASCAR races. Jalopnik reports the late May race will be part of a full NASCAR weekend of events at COTA that will also include the Truck Series.
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After moving from Honduras to Austin in high school, Giselle Suazo Arriaga has accumulated years of dating experience in the capital city. And in that time, she and her friends observed what they call “Peter Pan syndrome” in the dating pool.
“They don't want to be ‘tied down,’ as they say because you're essentially in a playground. There are so many people in the city,” Arriaga said.
The 28-year-old who works as a marketing manager went on to say she’s been on dates with men in their 20s, 30s and 40s, but finds the same pattern plays out regardless of age. She's also been out with the so-called "tech bros," or those who Reddit and other parts of the Internet have described as men working for companies like Google or Tesla and have therefore become somewhat egotistical or arrogant.
“I try not to stereotype all tech bros,” Arriaga said. “But it's interesting how they continuously prove that there is a stereotype. Like, they uphold it, you know what I mean?”
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The migration of tech workers to Austin has resulted in some feeling unfavorable about the dating pool. Arriaga says tech workers, often consisting of young men earning impressive salaries, may exhibit the Peter Pan syndrome more commonly.
Anoush Stevenson with SpeedAustin Dating, which has matchmaking and speed dating services across the nation, says more men have expressed interest in their services as pandemic restrictions eased and Austin's tech scene continues to flourish. It's a trend that has created a more even ratio of men to women.
“It used to be more female heavy for us in Austin,” Stevenson said. “And I don't know if that's connected to the influx of tech workers now that there's a balancing for us in that there's as many guys if not more, signing up than women now.”
When it comes to dating apps, Stevenson said those can lead to frustration.
"People are, I think, just fed up with it," Stevenson said. "They just want to know, in a few minutes, is there an attraction? Is there a chemistry there?" She added that the speed dating events don't add pressure to what happens next after the date. Attendees are asked to write down whether they're interested in meeting that person again or not, and her team takes care of the rest.
Such a carefree experience hasn't been as common for Arriaga, and she's worked to try to find out people's intentions before agreeing to a date.
“I genuinely feel like people just want to stay single though,” Arriaga said. “I don't really find guys that are like, ‘I want a relationship right now.’”
Still, Arriaga is hopeful that she’ll eventually meet someone who’s compatible with her.
“I genuinely believe that there's someone out there for everyone, it just takes time to find them,” Arriaga said.
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It may be a hot summer but it can’t stop you from keeping cool at your favorite happy hour.
Here are some of Austin’s finest happy hour deals.
DRINK at Fareground | 111 Congress Ave.
This modern food hall-style eatery has six restaurants, two bars to choose from and happy hour on weekdays at DRINK. Drinks start at $4, with a wide selection of $5 beers, $6 cocktails and $7 wines.
Happy Hour: 5-7 p.m. Monday-Friday
Garage | 503 Colorado St.
Bougie, semi-underground speakeasy Garage is known for its hard-to-find location and retro interior. During happy hour, you can get some of its signature secret cocktails for just $6.
Happy Hour: 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
House Wine | 408 Josephine St.
A self-proclaimed “unpretentious” wine bar, House Wine says it sources its bottles from small batch and boutique vineyards from around the world. Though you can get $2 off glasses or $6 bottles daily, House Wine has unique happy hour specials for each day of the week.
Happy Hour: 3-6 p.m. daily, all day Wednesday
Irene’s | 506 West Ave.
Stopping for a quick drink during happy hour at popular brunch bar Irene’s will get you a free bag of popcorn! This aviator-esque bar offers $3 draft beers, $4 well drinks, $5 frozen cocktails or wine glasses and $6 snacks during happy hour.
Happy Hour: 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday
Lou’s | 1900 E Cesar Chavez St. and 1608 Barton Springs Rd.
This roadside micro-chain eatery is a cozy place to stop for a burger and brew on a warm summer night. On weekdays you can get half off its classic burger, Lone Star brews and sangria—plus wine bottles on Tuesdays!
Happy Hour: 3-5 p.m. and 9-10 p.m. Monday-Friday
Péché | 208 W 4th St.
This downtown absinthe bar will also keep you well-fed with its French-inspired cuisine if you show up at the right time. The almost daily happy hour offers $6 drinks and half-off certain dishes.
Happy Hour: 4-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, all night Sunday and Monday
Salty Sow | 1917 Manor Rd.
Head to Salty Sow for some New American food in the Cherrywood neighborhood. For two hours every day, you can get $2 off cocktails and beer, $24 select wine bottles and $6 by the glass, $4-6 appetizers and $7 honey rosemary fried chicken.
Happy Hour: 4:30-6:30 p.m. daily
Second Bar + Kitchen | 3121 Palm Way
Located inside the North Austin Archer Hotel, happy hour at Second Bar + Kitchen has big yields with $5 cocktails, wine glasses and beers; $4.50-$7 appetizers and discounted pizzas.
Happy Hour: 3-6 p.m. Sunday-Thursday
Sour Duck Market | 1814 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
You can get 20% off your entire order during happy hour at Sour Duck Market. You read that right—20% off three days of the week.
Happy Hour: 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday
Stagger Lee | 87 Rainey St.
This Rainey Street favorite bar slings $3 domestic beers, $3 wells and $5 frozen margaritas or wine by the glass every day of the week.
Happy Hour: 3-7 p.m. Monday-Friday
Uncle Nicky's | 4222 Duval St.
Get your happy hour on early at Uncle Nicky’s Italian Bistro every day from 2-5 p.m.—$2-3 beers, $5 glasses of wine, $6 spritzes, $2 disco lemonade shots or a $25 wine and cheese plate.
Happy Hour: 2-5 p.m. daily