The home of the former CEO of beloved taco chain Torchy's Tacos, GJ Hart, has hit the market for a cool $7.5 million. Just like its mascot Torchy says, this house is "Damn Good," and even has a room dedicated to the restaurant.
Known as the "Bridge Home," 5221 Musket Cove is serenely located in the exclusive, gated Spanish Oaks neighborhood in West Austin. With five bedrooms, seven bathrooms and two half-baths, the massive home clocks in at 8,896 sprawling square feet.
Built in 2008, the home was designed by luxury firm Seaux-Piece Architecture over a three-year period but still looks like the pinnacle of modernity.
Entering through the three-car garage will bring you into the open-plan living room with sky-high ceilings and access to a separated indoor-outdoor lounge that connects to the pool. Floor-to-ceiling windows surround the living area on both sides for beautiful views of the outdoor waterfall and lots of natural light.
The kitchen is filled with luxury appliances from a Miele coffee maker, Viking Professional Series range with a warming drawer, three Gaggenau ovens, and five (count 'em) Sub-Zero refrigerators. That's not all—just off the kitchen is a walk-in wine cellar that stores 1,200 bottles of wine.
The elite master bath has two complete walls of glass so you can survey your kingdom of pools, multiple water features from a private well tapping into the Trinity Aquifer and an isolated private hot tub. Plus, the "owner's wing" is practically designed with independent closets, showers and toilets.
Just like the Taco of the Month, the biggest surprises are on the inside. One bedroom, perfect for a Disney-loving little one, has murals of Ariel and Elsa on the walls, and another is dedicated to Torchy's, painted in bright colors and featuring the "Damn Good" slogan on the wall. The Torchy's room is 1,200 square feet, and complete with a full bath, can be converted into a one-to-two bedroom apartment.
Before heading to work, make sure to stop by the at-home gym, complete with a steam shower and beverage nook, to work off those tacos. If you prefer to work out by hitting the green, you could also head over to the golf simulator room for a quick round.
Of course, this home is perfect for entertaining and too good not to share—envision nighttime gatherings by the outdoor fire pit on 1.3 acres of land or at the private movie theater. You also won't have to worry about party crashers since the home comes with 24/7 security.
Hart retired, effective immediately, in early November after four years as CEO of Torchy's. Under Hart's leadership, Torchy's expanded from 45 locations to 96 in 10 states. Founder Mike Rypka will step up as interim CEO in the meantime.
This listing is held by Compass' Monica Fabbio.
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Timmy and Tommy are ready to play.
As the 2-month-old white-and-tabby brothers swat feather wands, chase toys and generally hold court inside Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, a half-dozen potential adoptive parents look on lovingly, trying to get their attention.
“This is kind of like the speed dating of cats,” said Lupita Foster, owner of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge. “I intentionally didn’t put in any tables. That’s why we call it a lounge instead of a cat café because we have these lounge areas where you can sit and relax and cuddle.”
Foster, who has owned a cleaning company, Enviromaids, for 18 years, was inspired to open Purr-fecto Cat Lounge after adopting her own cat, Romeo, from a local shelter.
“When you want to adopt a cat, you have to spend a lot of time with them to get their personality,” Foster said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and something that makes me feel good, that warms my heart. A business with a purpose. This was a perfect idea.”
Actually, a purr-fect idea.
Inspired in part by a cat lounge she visited in Los Angeles, Foster began laying the groundwork for the business in late 2021 and officially opened the doors of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, located at 2300 S. Lamar Blvd., in July 2022. Since then, she’s worked with rescue organizations such as Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and Sunshine Fund Cat Rescue to facilitate nearly 100 cat adoptions.
At any given time, there are 10-15 cats living in the space, which features an ideal blend of calm, cool corners and adorably Instagrammable backdrops with phrases such as “I want to spend all my 9 lives with you.”
Lina Martinez, 32, learned about Purr-fecto Cat Lounge from a friend’s Instagram post and made an appointment to visit two days later.
“My first impression was, ‘AWW!’” Martinez said. “The kittens were to die for. I felt happy and at peace – just what I needed.”
Visitors to the cat lounge pay $15 for a 30-minute CATXperience session or $30 for a 70-minute session that is spent getting to know the personalities of each cat. Foster said the first thing she typically sees from visitors to the lounge is a smile.
“Everybody that enters the door is smiling,” she said. “And we’ve seen people who have cried because they can’t have kids and they decide to go and adopt a cat instead.”
Foster said she loves bringing in cats who might not have a chance to be adopted at traditional shelters. She told the story of one cat named Izzy, who was partially blind, who was adopted by a family that had a deaf cat at home.
“Izzy was not going to get adopted anywhere else, but she’s extremely beautiful,” she said. “If she was in a cage in a rescue and you tell people she’s blind, she was probably going to be overlooked. But visiting our space, she doesn’t seem like she’s blind. She knows her way around. She moves around perfectly.”
Although Martinez, who had been casually looking for a pet to adopt since moving to Austin nearly four years ago, was interested in a cat named Ruby that she had seen on Purr-fecto’s social media, at the lounge she instead found herself drawn to 5-month-old mixed breed Tuxedo cat.
“I thought he was a star,” she said. “He worked the room and introduced himself to everyone. When I laid down to pet Ruby, he ran from the other side of the room and cuddled with me. It was game over. He got me.”
And she, of course, got him, complete with a commemorative photo that read “My Furrever Family” the day she took him home. Although his original name was Emmanuel, she renamed him Sullivan after her favorite DJ.
“Purr-fecto is special because of the amount of effort and love they put into taking care of the cats,” Martinez said, “and finding them good homes and making possible adopters feel at home.”
Foster, who spent a recent Thursday hosting a group of teenagers in foster care at the lounge, several of whom expressed interest in working there, said the best part about her new endeavor is that her heart is always full.
“I just feel complete,” she said. “I always felt as an entrepreneur that I was missing something. I knew I accomplished a lot, but in my heart I was missing a little connection with the community. Now I’m creating connections between humans and pets and that’s amazing. I’m creating family bonds. It’s just about love, you know. And we need that.”
We all have those cravings for an amazing butter chicken or some authentic dosas with coconut chutney, but when I was thinking about where I wanted to go to satisfy my taste buds I realized that my list of great Indian food around Austin was surprisingly short. After doing some research and asking around, here is your list of the best Indian restaurants around town.
This restaurant claims to have the most authentic South Indian food, and from what I've heard, the claims might be true! Their menu features the traditional South Indian dishes of Idlis, Vadas, a variety of Dosas, and more.
If you're looking for an Indian and Tex-Mex fusion cozy restaurant, then look no further! Nasha on East 7th Street prides itself on its specialty margaritas, Tikka con Queso, Biryani, and more creative dishes!