This year has been rough on the bar and restaurant industry, marked by the ebb and flow of businesses moving in and out of existence. With closures like Sellers Underground, Black Walnut Cafe, Full English and Threadgills this year, 2020 has done away with many Austin eateries.
But when one door closes, another one opens. After a respectful period of mourning, you might want to check out one of these new restaurants in town.
Chicken as Cluck
Coming into Austin from the Bay area, Chicken as Cluck is operating in Austin exclusively as a ghost kitchen—a restaurant that only serves delivery and takeout—for now. Located on 5610 North Interstate Highway 35, Chicken as Cluck opened its second location in Austin at the beginning of December, though the restaurant has plans to open another soon in Dallas. The restaurant has a fresh, rotating menu every week and specializes in pressure-fried chicken sandwiches and "chunks."
C.L. Butaud and Wine for the People
Two Texas small-batch wineries are joining forces to open up a joint tasting room, taking over what was previously Argus Cidery, on 12345 Pauls Valley Road. C.L. Butaud and Wine for the People opened their tasting room last week, featuring $25 wine flights, cheese boards and choice outdoor seating for COVID-19 safety. Members of the respective wine clubs get additional benefits and reservations are recommended.
Curry Up Now
From one food truck-loving city to another, San Francisco-native Indian food restaurant Curry Up Now started as a food truck and is now making a move to Austin in 2021. No date has been announced yet for a grand opening, though the restaurant is working on expanding 40 locations across the U.S. Featuring mash-up options like tikka masala burritos and tandoori fried chicken sandwiches, and naughty creations like "sexy fries" and "naughty naan," this restaurant is sure to have you wondering why you've never had food quite like it before.
Paying homage to the iconic Midwestern chain White Castle, the temporary burger joint is operating inside the temporarily-closed Original Hoffbrau Steakhouse, located on 613 West 6th St. Golden Castle is selling its beef, onion and American cheese-on-a-potato-roll sliders by the half-dozen or full dozen, made complete with some crinkle-cut fries and a frosty beer. Golden Castle is only a pop-up for now—the restaurant is planning to move into a food truck by the second week of January.
Luck's Wagyu Burger Shoppe
Coming to you from the minds behind Lucky Robot and Zen Japanese Food Fast, Luck's Wagyu Burger Shop made its debut last month. The casual dining restaurant, located on 2900 West Anderson Lane, sells Asian-inspired burgers and sandwiches made with premium ingredients, like rare wagyu beef. Go for the tempura onion rings, panko-fried patties and Asian-fusion condiments. The restaurant also sells options for non-hamburger-eaters like chicken and vegan Beyond burgers.
According to its website, Austin needs Cambodian soul food and Mama Kong is bringing it to the city via a pop-up kitchen, supper club, caterer, speakeasy and online cooking classes. With a rotating menu on deck, Mama Kong serves different "snackies," "soupies" and "biggies" every day. Stop by and get Puh Hut, or fried fish cakes with lemongrass, to start; a Somlar Kaw, caramelized chicken, soup; and finish with an order of Nyom Samot, or squid and shrimp salad over glass noodles. The pop-up has kept their location hush-hush, but you can place orders here.
Man vs Fries
Man vs Fries will make you rethink fries as a side dish. The french-fry centric restaurant is yet another move from the Bay area, also operating as a ghost kitchen while under COVID-19 restrictions. Bringing you the "maximum version of the french fry" and inspired by the Texas State Fair, Man vs Fries's menu puts fries in burritos, carne asada fries and plans to bring its newfound Lone Star State audience unique Texas-specific items in the spring. Man vs Fries is currently operating at 11410 Manchaca Road, but plans to open two more locations on East Cesar Chavez and South 1st before the end of the year.
Specializing in the classics, cheese and pepperoni, Sammataro started as a pop-up in Austin before it became a permanent fixture. The pizza truck, located on1158 Lost Creek Blvd., opened this month, after a group of former New Yorkers moved to Austin, mid-pandemic, with the goal of bringing Silician pizza to town. Using pepperoni from the famous Ezzo's, flour from Barton Springs Mill and a host of toppings, Sammataro's pizza is meant to reflect a Sicilian experience.
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The Austin Police Department has arrested the man behind a series of robberies sexual in nature.
The suspect, only identified by police as a 22-year-old Hispanic man, was arrested by police on Thursday with one account of aggravated robbery, but more charges are expected to be made. The suspect's identity has not been revealed by police, to not taint any current investigations, police said in a press conference. Little details about how police identified him have been released, but police told the media that the community played a large role in capturing him.
The man is believed to be behind a series of robberies in North Austin within a 30-day period.
Here's a breakdown of the cases:
1. At 7:56 a.m. on Sept. 22 at the 1600 block of Rutland Drive, a woman was walking alone and returning from her child's school when a suspect walking by inappropriately touched her. The suspect then grabbed her by the arm, threatened her with a knife and demanded "her property."
2. At 8:10 a.m. on Oct. 11 at 1700 block of Colony Creek Drive, a woman was walking to her child's school when a man approached her with a knife and then demanded her personal items. The suspect then said he would return the items in return for sex.
3. At 11:03 a.m. on Oct. 13 at the 9300 block of Northgate Boulevard, a woman was with her child in the laundry room of an apartment complex when a man walked in performing a sexual act. The suspect demanded personal items from the victim, threatening to hurt the victim and take her child.
Police are encouraging other potential victims to come forward.
Atop one of Austin's signature rolling hilltops, 1501 Ridgecrest Drive is similar to one of the plush palaces that one might find in Calabasas. For $10.9 million, the home has four bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms and caps at 10,498 square feet.
Park in the massive, fully air-conditioned garage before walking in, where you'll have eight full spaces to park your collection of cars. If you're not a collector, the garage makes an excellent studio space.
The wide-open living spaces will draw your eyes to the two-story ceilings, glass catwalk, integrated fireplace and wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the pool.
Though the house was built in 2011, it doesn't show its age. Sleek, clean lines lead seamlessly from the formal living area to an elite open-plan kitchen. Separated by a 25-foot waterfall island that can seat at least eight people, the kitchen is fitted with only the finest Miele and Subzero appliances. The custom cabinets are just as pricey as the rest of the place, finished with custom high-gloss Aston Martin (you read that right) paint.
Upstairs in the sprawling master's suite, there are enough amenities to never have to set foot outside again. Armani tile floors, space for living and a walk-in showcase closet lead into the resort-style bathroom, where you'll find dual vanities, a walk-in shower and a lounging bathtub.
The bedroom is a quick elevator trip away from the "party" room, complete with a bar, wine room and movie theater, only the best for entertaining. If your guests are staying over, rest assured they'll be comfortable with the kitchenette, washer and dryer and spa-like bath in their suite.
Though summer has passed, you can still enjoy the grand lap pool's unobstructed Hill Country views, many private lounging areas, grill a homemade snack at the outdoor kitchen or shoot some hoops at the newly-added court.
The listing is held by Compass' Gary Dolch.
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In what could be one of their least energetic showing to date, Austin FC was outperformed by home team San Jose in a 4-0 road loss late Wednesday night.
As the first team officially out of playoff contention in a loss on Saturday, the team seemed defeated from almost the moment they hit the pitch as Quakes standouts Chris Wondolowski and Javier "Chofis" Lopez scored on the team.
A 10th-place San Jose maintained a clean sheet in the match as they inched closer to a last-minute spot in playoffs.
Just as they did in their 1-0 loss Saturday, it was Austin FC who struck first in the match. Captain Alex Ring forced a save from Quakes keeper JT Marcinkowski in just the second minute of play, while star forward Sebastian Driussi followed soon after.
A little over 10 minutes later, San Jose responded with a shot of their own as Austin keeper Brad Stuver was forced into action with a diving save. But with a failing backline and a lack of energy throughout, a frustrated Stuver wouldn't be enough to stave off the home team Quakes in their four-goal triumph.
After a slow first half, San Jose star Chofis was the first to strike after sneaking past Stuver to make it 1-0 for the home team to kick off the second half.
Just five minutes later, Quakes midfielder Benjamin Kikanovic broke free with a fast-paced drive in a play that saw two Asutin FC players hit the ground to double the lead. Stuver and other players were immediately outraged in the controversial call after an apparent handball in the box.
MLS' top all-time scorer Chris Wondolowski capitalized on the slow Austin defense next, taking a pause in the box to score the third goal unmanned in the 59th minute.
Finally, Carlos Fierro clinched the win for the home team after placing a header from six yards out off of a cross and corner kick to end the match 4-0 for San Jose.
Austin Head Coach Josh Wolff attempted to staunch the wound with a series of subs starting at the beginning of the second half, subbing in native Austinite McKinze Gaines for Moussa Djitte and Rodney Redes for Cecilio Dominguez. But no subs were enough to push back against the 'Quakes as the team lost their second match in a row.
Austin FC has four final matches to end the season, including two remaining home matches against the Houston Dynamo at 4 p.m. on Sunday and a final match at Q2 Stadium against Sporting Kansas City at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
Here's a live blog of the match:
85' San Jose makes it 4-0
Austin FC once again can't plug holes in the box as San Jose scores their fourth goal of the match off a set piece and header to make it 4-0 in the 85th minute. The Quakes' Carlos Fierro scores on a header from close up after a well-placed cross from Cristian Espinoza as a frustrated Stuver is unable to block the six-yard shot.
Frustrated and sluggish, Austin FC appears to have lost their chance at a win or draw in one of their worst losses by scoring margin this season.
59' Wondolowski scores for the "Quakes
Just a minute after he hits the pitch, MLS' all-time top scorer Chris Wondolowski tacks one more onto San Jose's lead as the home team leads 3-0 in the 59th minute. A beleaguered Austin leaves Wondolowski undefended as he receives the ball in the box, pauses and scores in the bottom right corner of goal.
It's looking to be an especially bad match for Austin, who already sit at the bottom of the West. The Verde and Black continue to be outperformed in their late-season road matches.
53' Austin doubles the lead
After a rough-and-tumble drive that saw two Austin FC players take a fall, San Jose's Benjamin Kikanovic shoots past Stuver to score the second goal of the match for the home team. The play drew ire from Austin FC players including Stuver, who said there was a handball in the box. Austin's defense continues to be outperformed in the match.
47' San Jose scores first
The Earthquakes finally capitalized on a sluggish Austin FC as San Jose's Javier "Chofis" Lopez snuck one past keeper Brad Stuver and a last-ditch dive from Austin's Jhohan Romana to net the first goal of the match. The goal is Lopez' 12th on the season.
40' Romana gets yellow carded
Romaña is trying to play flag football 😂 #AustinFC— Seth Davis (@sethdavis512) October 21, 2021
Austin FC's Jhohan Romana is the first to get yellow carded in the match after grabbing a jersey in the 40th minute of play. Seconds later, Austin nearly gets an opportunity as San Jose keeper JT Marcinkowski fumbles a blocked shot, but he passes the ball off before the Verde and Black can get one in off the rebound.
The Quakes repeat the move in the 41st minute as they nearly get one past Stuver, who is able to hold it down unguarded and grab a shot from Jeremy Ebobisse.
18' Stuver keeps it clean
Just like Saturday, it was Austin who struck first with a shot by Captain Alex Ring in just the second minute of play. Star newcomer Sebastian Driussi came soon after with a shot of his own, but the ball was once again kept out of goal.
Just over 10 minutes later, Austin keeper Brad Stuver got his first big test as the Quakes' Jeremy Ebobisse shot one towards the bottom left corner. In signature fashion, Stuver was able to keep a clean sheet.
Austin's "strongest lineup yet" may not have been able to finish in Saturday's loss, but they created plenty of chances. Wolff seems to have confidence in the starting XI and hasn't changed much for tonight.
Nick Lima is in for right back in Hector Jimenez's stead, while Cecilio Dominguez, Moussa Djitte and Sebastian Driussi lead up front. Center back Matt Besler remains out on concussion protocol.