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Dee Dee Thai, Veracruz All Natural owners await approval for South Austin garden café

The three owners and business women are combining their restaurants in search of a new experience. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

The taco-slinging sisters of Veracruz All Natural and the woman behind Dee Dee Thai are joining forces for a fresh new take on eating local.

The three women, Dee Dee Thai owner Lakana Trubiana alongside Maritza and Reyna Vazquez of Veracruz, are planning on opening a five-acre botanical garden and cafe in southwestern Austin. According to a report from Austin 360, the cafe would be located at 6405 Brodie Lane.

Trubiana and the Vazquez sisters say the project will bring a meadow-like green space into the urban sphere, serving Thai and Mexican food made in part by food grown on the property. A native of Thailand, Trubiana said opening the garden restaurant would be a lifelong dream come true.

Dee Dee Thai, Veracruz All Natural and a to-be-determined third tenant will prepare food out of small cabins with three picnic areas on the property for customers to dine. There will also be room for another building, serving as a café and bar.

As of right now, the project needs a zoning change to become a reality. The plot of land the women are eyeing comes from the estate of the late Betty Grubbs, who purchased it with her husband back in 1952. A longtime supporter of women's athletics at the University of Texas, a portion of the proceeds from the sale must be donated to the women’s athletics department, according to Grubbs’ will.

In response, Trubiana and the Vazquez sisters said they will hold an annual fundraiser for the Betty Grubbs Endowed Scholarship Program at UT and work to support women-owned businesses.

Gary McIntosh, the estate’s independent executor and longtime friend of the Grubbs family, said he will recommend that the zoning commission approve the venture, which would likely provide a record-breaking donation, and that Grubbs would have supported it as well.

In order to move forward, the women are asking that the city of Sunset Valley change the zoning on the property from single-family residential to neighborhood commercial. The planning commission will hold a hearing to hear the proposal on Jan. 26.

If approved, the space will be one of very few retail commercial spaces in Sunset Valley.


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