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Hard Hat Report Vol 3

Volumes' one and two are getting unwieldy so let's start a fresh report.Enjoying a nice Sunday morning ride I noticed Jr's Corner Barbecue diagonally across from Queen Lola's on the northeast corner of Rosewood and Chicon.

It's in the old VII J's soul food location which,despite having great fried chicken wings and Dawnna Dukes as a sometimes waitress,closed quite a long time ago.

What restaurants have you noticed that are in the opening or pre-opening stages?

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  1. I don't remember seeing anything on the board yet about the Five Guys that's being built out in the former Sharper Image space at the Arboretum.

    2 Replies
    1. re: magicbus

      Really, a Five Guys? Shouldn't be surprised I guess, they already have a Cheesecake Factory.

      1. re: thebodytx

        I can't say it floats my boat, either, but some folks were quite excited about the one they opened on Guadalupe. :-)

    2. Did anyone go check out "Frank" this past weekend...supposedly they opened for some limited hours according to their websire...


      1. There is a new Maudie's in the late planning stages for the Shops at Galleria in Bee Cave.

        1. Not a restaurant, but they have started working on Sprouts Market in Susnset Valley in the same center as World Market, next door to where Linens and things was (or possibly in the same spot )

          5 Replies
          1. re: TroyTempest

            Is nothing sacred? Franchised Salvadoran food is coming to Austin.


            1. re: scrumptiouschef

              I saw that, and was horrified by the look of the menu. I predict that it will be very successful. Have you been to El Zunzal near 7th and Pleasant Valley? I've had some good food there.

              1. re: rudeboy

                I've been to one of them in Dallas, didn't know it was a chain. It was pretty good, and bustling. The crowd was a young one, though.
                Only about half the menu is Salvadoran, the rest closer to Tex-Mex.

                1. re: rudeboy

                  Love El Zunzal. Really love it when Elmer[the owner]is there.The staff can get a case of the dropsies if he's not around.

                  Found some old words from me and MPH on the joint.


                2. re: scrumptiouschef

                  We visited a Gloria's in Rockwall, north of Dallas, several months ago. I thought it was fantastic, every aspect of it.....really looking forward to their opening at The Domain.

              2. There is a new Pho restaurant about to open up on Parmer between Dell and 685..It' s got to be authentic the big sign out front says "Pho King coming soon"

                1. This might not qualify but, alas...another chain invading Austin (and The Triangle): Chedd's (sandwiches specializing in varieties of grilled cheese) from Denver (pre-opening). El Arbol on 35th across from Brick Oven (pre-opening).

                  1. "More Home Slice"
                    1423 South Congress according to the construction database. Looks like they're going to remodel the building across from the church.

                    1. Shu Shu
                      8303 Burnet Rd

                      I see an 8-burner wok stove, a big rice cooker/warmer, a sushi display, and a couple sandwich prep tables. Looks to be counter service only.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sqwertz

                        there's a sign up outside the construction fence now. BTW, this is the old tien hong for those challenged by addresses.

                      2. hong kong market coming soon to the plaza on parmer between metric and scofield.
                        were the albertsons was turned into a goodwill.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: dinaofdoom

                          It'll be interesting to see how that works out. I hope they have a food court of some sort. Make ti more like a 99 Ranch 99.

                          1. re: sqwertz

                            you know, i wish they would do that with some of the albertson's skeletons strewn about the city.
                            the one closest to me (anderson mill & 183) has been sitting there, empty, forever.
                            i miss the asian food courts of my old home, boston :-(

                        2. The cursed location on Barton Springs Road that was until recently Gypsy, is now being repainted and has a sign on it that says El Chilito.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: The Tres Leches


                            Looks like the old Azul building on Cesar Chavez is being converted to a seafood house.

                            1. re: scrumptiouschef

                              and they'll have bocci ball. Keep us posted when this opens. I'm interested.

                              1. re: amysuehere

                                i really liked azul...especially the outside area where you could sit and relax with a latte made with piloncillo!
                                this place looks promising.

                                1. re: dinaofdoom

                                  A long time ago there was an outstanding soul food joint over on Chestnut near the corner of 15th Street called Flo's. Every now and again I still wake up with a start in the middle of the night flashing on an old memory of her decadent pork chops fried in lard in a cast iron pan.

                                  Rolling by the old building today I noted that Bayseas #7,the fried seafood house is coming soon to Flo's old building. My guess is with all the great soul food vibes still floating around in there the Eastside is in for a real treat.

                          2. I was at Arbor Walk last night and noticed a new place going in. I thought it was called Bob and Mike's Chicken, but can't find it on the internet, so I may have the names wrong. (I was assuming it was a chain, based on that shopping center). I think it's going in where Camille's Sidewalk Cafe was.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: stephanieh

                              I saw it there after I had already eaten. Is it open? Have you been yet?

                              1. re: stephanieh

                                Bob & Mike are a Father-Son team who used to own a fine dining restaurant in Waco. Yeah, I know Waco & Fine Dining is an Oxymoron. But the food there was really good. Anyway, they are opening a Chicken Tenders Place with other items. Should prove to be good, as they were good operators before. Can't wait to see if they have a soft opening and try the Tenders.

                                1. re: stephanieh

                                  Their website is live, and they seem to be open: http://bobandmikes.com . Note the free brownie coupon.

                                  1. re: ret3

                                    My wife and I went a few nights ago to give it a try. The decor is spare, clearly stripped down from Camille's (we never went there, though). There are long tables through the middle of the room, with semi-booths along one wall. Large LCD screens display the menu, but, like the ones at movie theaters which irk me to no end, they tend to change what they're displaying at inopportune times. There are 4 combos: a 3 strip basket, a 3 strip sandwich, a salad with three strips, and a kid's meal. You have a choice of grilled or fried strips, and the combos seem to add a piece of Texas Toast (their moist and garliky version is actually quite good compared to the rigid, flavorless slice that often passes for Texas Toast these days), a small side of cole slaw and some dressing for dipping at the cost of an extra dollar and change over the a la carte prices. The grilled strips are pretty good, well seasoned and flattened on the griddle. The fried version are a mixed bag; the breading had a good flavor and texture, and the chicken is nice and moist, but without much by way of flavor itself. Fries are of the thick shoestring style, dipped in batter and fried, and the thin-sliced, multi-layer onion rings share the chicken's batter as well. I had a coupon from their website for a brownie, which was very rich and satisfying.

                                2. I saw that the Austinville sign is back up on 183 in Northwest Austin (near Anderson Mill). I heard that they are back on track to build this strip center with Austin businesses (Amy's Runtex, Zen, etc)
                                  At 183 and Ohlen road, it looks like one of the big stores (not the Albertson's, I think, but on that side of the highway) there is being converted to an El Rancho Supermercado. Keeping my fingers crossed that this turns out to be decent, since it is much closer than Fiesta to my house.

                                  2 Replies
                                    1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                      I just saw that today on my way to a sales call at St. Davids South. I asked a few of the kitchen staff, but they hadn't noticed it. I'll stop next time.

                                  1. Coming south on Lamar I keep seeing the sign for "Smoking Oats Cafe" or something like that right at 30th with that funny split. Traffic is always too terrible for me to check it out--probably a bad sign for the restaurant. Anyone know any details?

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Carter B.

                                      Never mind--it's a hookah bar with other branches in the UT area. Called Smokin' O's.

                                    2. I know the "Real New Orleans Style Restaurant" in Round Mountain is a hit with at least a few on this board, so I thought I'd pass on that it looks like a new (or replacement to the Round Mountain) location will be arriving in Marble Falls just across from the HEB on FM1431.

                                      The location has been many unsuccessful restaurants, and a few months ago I saw them cleaning it out. Last night I passed by about midnight and saw the new sign. So not seeing it in the day, I have no idea if it's open or when it will be.

                                      I'm excited to find out and try it out...

                                      If you're unfamiliar with them, they were a church congregation that moved out here post katrina, and I believe they cooked a big cajun/creole meal for the community as appreciation for giving them a place to stay, and the restaurant was born soon after....at least I think that's how the story goes.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: LakeLBJ

                                        The old Gene's New Orleans Location is being revamped into: Fork n Icehole.

                                        It could be the greatest venture ever but the fratboy name coupled with the fact the owner is trumpeting "vegan pizza" leaves me less than interested.

                                        1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                          That truly is a terrible name. Reminds me of a place in San Antonio called Sunnova Beach Bar and Grill.

                                          1. re: Homero

                                            It is one of the worst names I've ever heard. Almost as bad as that shaved ice place that used to be on Barton Springs near Lamar called The Shaved Ass.

                                      2. I saw something going on yesterday at the former Tien Hong. Does anyone know what is going on with this place?

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: TroyTempest

                                          I saw that today as well.....there's a heavy-duty fence surrounding the whole building, like they are going to raze it.

                                          Just did a check on the Austin Building permits: there's an application for a mixed use retail and restaurant. The restaurant is called "Shu Shu Restaurant." That's all I can tell.

                                          1. re: rudeboy

                                            jp's java,the now venerable north campus coffee fix joint has a tabc permit in the window.Can 35 flat panel teevee's[all LONGHORNS all the time] a la Posse East be forthcoming?

                                            1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                              Que? At Tien Hong? No comprende.....

                                              1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                                Have you been to JP's, or are you just making stuff up? Because the last time I was in the JP's on San Jacinto, they had good coffee and no flat panel TVs.

                                                1. re: brentwood

                                                  jp's java,the now venerable north campus coffee fix joint has a tabc permit in the window.Can 35 flat panel teevee's[all LONGHORNS all the time] a la Posse East be forthcoming?

                                                  brentwood:Usually try to avoid spinning posts from broadcloth.This time is no exception.Did you miss the question mark at the end?

                                          2. Anyone noticed what appears to be a new burger place under construction on Burnet, just north of North Loop. Called "Hat Creek", whatever that is. Looks like iit's rebuilding an old Arby's, even to recycling the sign.

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: thebodytx


                                              The Real New Orleans Style Restaurant is now open in Marble Falls. Their web site is not updated.

                                              Now that it is closer, I am looking forward to the opportunity to try it out

                                              thanks for the mention

                                              1. re: thebodytx

                                                Hat Creek is the same as the trailer that was located behind the now defunct Star Bar. I've never tried their burgers but heard praise from fellow bar patrons on a visit SEVERAL months back. According to their website (http://www.hatcreekburgers.com/) the trailer will be relocating. It doesn't specify when the site at the old Arby's will open. But, it looks worth a try.

                                                1. re: thebodytx

                                                  I've been keeping an eye on this. When the heck is it going to open?

                                                  1. re: amysuehere

                                                    As I was driving into work this morning I noticed that they had finally lit up the sign at Hat Creek (on Burnet) and a banner was draped over the front announcing that the Drive Thru is now open. Can anyone confirm?

                                                    1. re: ashes

                                                      Looks like the "Menu" link for that address finally works. I'd say today's the opening. Not a real al fresco dining day, though. I'm also a little worried they'll be bombarded right off. I think I'll give it a week or two to settle down.

                                                      1. re: amysuehere

                                                        Went by for lunch. Not many people there so I guess the word is not out yet. I was impressed with the operation considering today is their first day--not a glitch in the ordering process, smooth and fast. And delicious burger! Great fries. I'm a fan, looking forward to the full opening.

                                                        1. re: cstrombe

                                                          Those pix are of Hat Creek Burger, correct? That looks good....And it's right at the end of my street.

                                                          PS - I'm likely playing football with your bro on Sunday!

                                                          1. re: rudeboy

                                                            Yes, that's Hat Creek burger & fries. I really liked it, you are lucky to live so close.

                                                            Have fun Sunday, tell him I said hello!

                                                            1. re: cstrombe

                                                              Oh well ,the game was canceled. I tried to go to Hat Creek at around 4 pm, but they were closed!!!

                                                              With all those people at Ginny's on Sunday, you'd think they'd be open.....

                                                2. San Antonio sushi chain Sushi Zushi is opening (opened?) in the 5th Street Commons apartments close to the Mean Eyed Cat. I went to one of the location in San Antonio and found it be to pretty good with a quite large menu. Seems like every other week there is a new sushi or yogurt place opening in Austin. When is the Korean food trend going to hit Austin?

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Carter B.

                                                    Just don't go to the Sushi Zushi web site to check the menu. It starts music playing in a hidden window, and you have to shut down the browser to get rid of it.

                                                  2. "Cajun Pizza Place" at McNeil and 183 (San Felipe Center). Coming soon.


                                                    1. I just saw a sign for The Pour House Pub on Burnet in the Travis County Farmers Market space. I'm guessing where the Stine house grill used to be.

                                                      1. The space formerly occupied by Bear Rock Cafe at Parmer and Silver Creek has signs up for J&J BBQ and Burgers. Safe to assume this is the same J&J BBQ in Cedar Park? Regardless, having eaten at Bear Rock a few times, this new place can only be an improvement.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: jwynne2000

                                                          i work near there and didn't even notice bear rock was gone.
                                                          not that i will miss it...
                                                          my co-workers will be excited to hear of a bbq place!

                                                        2. It appears Moonie's is opening a second location at Anderson Mill, where I guess Rhino's sports bar used to be. This is delightful news burgerhounds.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: NWLarry

                                                            Ooh, that is good news. Any idea when?

                                                            1. re: cstrombe

                                                              They have a now hiring sign in the window

                                                          2. There is a new Mandola's Italian Market being built in the South Austin Costco Strip Mall at William Cannon and Mopac.

                                                            1. There is an Aunt Jennie's (or some female name) Country Cooking and Steakhouse opening at Sam Bass and 35 in RR. It is in the same center with Gatti's, Pok-e-jo's, Thundercloud, etc. Advertising Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.