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Dec 12, 2012 10:36 PM

Casita Jorge's New Owners to Close For Remodel

Fresh off the Austin Chronicle 12/14/12 presses:

There's some interesting sales news in the food business this week. The last remaining link to Jorge Arredondo's popular Casita Jorge's restaurant chain of the SevenĀ­ties and Eighties has been sold. Current owner Diana Veloz and her family own a successful chain of Jorge's restaurants in West Texas, and she bought the restaurant at 2203 Hancock Drive ten years ago in a bankruptcy sale. The prime Rosedale property has attracted a number of suitors over the years, and the prices being offered finally became too good to ignore. Veloz opted to sell the property and will focus on creating a couple of new restaurant concepts with some longtime Austin employees and the next generation of her family learning the business. The group of hospitality professionals who bought the property includes Chuy's co-founder Mike Young, Will Muntz of Lucky Lounge, and John Korioth of Hangar Lounge and Six Lounge. "John grew up in this neighborhood and I've lived over here for 20 years. We're excited about creating a place that our neighbors can enjoy, a place you can walk to or ride your bike to for good Tex-Mex food and drinks. I can sum up our concept in four words: Tex-Mex neighborhood tavern," Muntz told me earlier this week. Jorge's closes on Dec. 22 and, once all the permits are in place, the 9,000-square- foot building will undergo a thorough remodel designed by restaurant architect Michael Hsu. Muntz is cautiously optimistic that La Mancha Tex-Mex Tavern will open in the spring of 2013 with chef Chris Chism on the range.

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  1. Bad news, another longtime Austin institution gone forever. I don't hold out much hope for the replacement either.

    1. I ate there last week and honestly the food was not good. I think it is one of those places that creates a lot of nostalgia for long-time Austinites , but has lousy food. I'd put Matt's El Rancho and Frisco Shop in the same category.

      The new place sounds promising.

      5 Replies
      1. re: PappyAustin

        Ditto PappyAustin. I went there a few months ago for the first time in years and my expectations were met, pretty bad TM grub. The new place sounds interesting. Looking forward to it.

        1. re: PappyAustin

          totally agree. I really enjoyed their homemade totopos and tortillas, though.

          it's a neat location in a great neighborhood. I hope it complements Billy's on Burnet.

          1. re: PappyAustin

            I never understood how this place stayed open. My only trip there resulted in me eating some of the worst tasting food I've ever had in Austin. It was bad.

            1. re: TheBadWolf

              The reason it thrived is because there's no decent tex mex in that area. It was serviceable when you approach it from that perspective--desperation. I liked their crispy tacos.

              1. re: cstrombe

                You may not have liked it but there were many others that did. If my arteries could stand it I could eat their grilled tacos every day for the rest of my life. I did not like many of their other dishes either but their grilled tacos were unique (or almost so) in Austin and reminded me of my childhood in west Texas. Just because you don't personally like something is no reason to run it down.

          2. Rob Balon's site today says the new "joint" is open. That's what the owners are calling it on their website. A joint.

            La Mancha Tex Mex Tavern


            Menu looks good!