The Grove and Lola Savannah Coffee Coming to Downtown Austin

The Grove and Lola Savannah Coffee Coming to Downtown Austin

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One restaurant outside of downtown Austin that I enjoy is The Grove on Bee Caves Road.  The atmosphere of the outdoor patio, sitting under the canopy of magnificent live oak trees, beset with families and ladies’ nights groups, is light, crisp, clean, and interesting for its occasional cougar spotting (remind me later to tell you about the time the clunky-jeweled, immoderately tanned, bleached-blonde, and probably about 2 bottles of rosé deep, woman stood in front of our vehicle in the parking lot, arms outstretched, intermittently punching the windshield, shouting at us “you don’t understand!” blocking our exit for over 5 minutes. Actually, no need to remind me – I just told you about it).

When I venture out that way, I generally will have wine and dinner at The Grove and then enjoy a fresh made cappuccino and a pastry at the connected coffee shop Lola Savannah, which has the same owners. I really love both places – but tend to stay in downtown more often than not to dine, so was delighted to hear that they will be coming to downtown this summer!

Both concepts are slated to go in the prime ground floor space of the Cirrus Logic building at 800 W 6th, which was most recently inhabited by Tapasitas (now closed). The location had been challenging for prior restaurant concepts, but if any concept can make it work, I believe it’s The Grove and Lola Savannah.

cirrus-logic-the-grove-austin-downtown

The partnership team behind the concepts is extremely experienced, and The Grove’s approach and brand will work extremely well in the space and in the overall arena of downtown Austin dining.  I have not been to the Lakeway location, but the patio that The Grove has on Bee Caves is one of the most enjoyable restaurant spaces, and was designed by celebrated architecture firm Dick Clark Architecture in 2008.

Here are some photographs of the Westlake spaces taken by Paul Bardagjy (these are also on the Dick Clark Architecture site):

Reports state that The Grove / Lola Savannah will eventually take over the space that Restaurant Jezebel is in, as well.

We can’t wait to visit!

The Grove / Lola Savannah
800 W 6th St, 78701





Get your Fixe for Southern Comfort Food in Downtown Austin

Get your Fixe for Southern Comfort Food in Downtown Austin

fixe-downtwon-austin-exterior-sign

Southern style restaurants are not a new concept for downtown Austin.  With great restaurants like Olamie, Bess Bistro, and Moonshine, I would say the bar is set fairly high in this particular arena.

Fixe, the newcomer on the scene, recently opened in the very slick, very new IBC Bank Building, right across 5th street from the Federal Courthouse complex, and is a hop, skip, and a jump away from downtown Austin condo towers like Plaza Lofts and the 360 Condos.

Given the lack of historical character on the building’s exterior, I was setting my expectations low, prepping myself for an upscale, but watered-down experience – a business-lunch destination, with a general lack of gumption.

[Read more…]





Where to Watch the World Cup – Downtown Austin Sports Bars

Where to Watch the World Cup – Downtown Austin Sports Bars

Liberty-Tavern-Bar

I’m not real into soccer.  Matter of fact, first soccer game I ever watched was Sunday’s World Cup Match between the USA and Portugal.  What an exciting game, though!  I literally stood up and cheered when the US made that second goal, and then I moaned and beseeched the soccer gods when Portugal scored to tie.

It was enough to get me excited about the upcoming match against zee Germans, happening this Thursday at 11am (tomorrow!).  But, where to watch this epic game in downtown Austin?  I have a couple of  suggestions.

1. Liberty Tavern, in the Hilton Downtown: 500 E 4th

Liberty-Tavern-Bar

photo by Diana Nogueira

Remodeled in 2012, with 11 big screens, and an airy and spacious atmosphere. Great local beers, and ample breakfast / lunch food. Extremely convenient for those living in the 5 Fifty-Five Condos or Sabine Condos in downtown Austin.

liberty-tavern-interior

For the World Cup, they’ve also added a 16’x9′ Jumbo HD screen!

liberty-tavern-big-screen

photo by Diana Nogueira

And drink specials galore, including $2 Lonestars!

liberty-tavern-world-cup-specials

2. Takoba (downtown adjacent), 1411 E. 7th

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  • 112″ indoor projector screen
  • 75″ TV outside
  • covered outdoor seating / misters
  • $15 buckets a beer

Need I say more?

3. The Mohawk, 912 Red River

The Mohawk has multiple screens, including an indoor screen with surround sound, along with beers and bubbles, and noshes by Frank.  Nice dark and cool atmosphere for the big screen area, too!

Don’t like any of my suggestions?  Check out a more comprehensive list from Austin Culture Map, which includes my top three, plus other downtown venues like Russian House, Holy Mountain, Fado, and Bar 96, plus places in other parts of the city.





Cuban Restaurant in Downtown Austin – Pleasant Storage Room

Cuban Restaurant in Downtown Austin – Pleasant Storage Room

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As far as I know, there aren’t currently any Cuban restaurant concepts in downtown Austin proper.  Well, there WASN’T before this week, anyway.  There’s a new one popping up in the warehouse district, where the now defunct Stack Burger Bar used to be (one of the restaurant concepts owned by the now infamous Yassine Enterprises).

Let me introduce you to Pleasant Storage Room, officially opening TODAY: [Read more…]





The Most Insane Private Railcar You’ve Ever Seen Visits Downtown Austin

The Most Insane Private Railcar You’ve Ever Seen Visits Downtown Austin

We've got to do something about that graffiti.

Jude and I ride the Amtrak Texas Eagle from Austin to Little Rock at least once a year to visit my family.

We get a private cabin and find train travel to be a great alternative to the hassle of air travel – the slower pace IS the luxury.  We bring several books and just enjoy a relaxing day of reading and appreciating the scenery.

But, DAAAAAAMMMMNNN! – Now that I’ve seen Patron Billionaire John Paul DeJoria’s private passenger railcar up close and personal, while enjoying sips of $600/bottle Patrón Burdeos and noshing on delicious tex-mex cuisine, every single other travel experience I’ve ever had pales in comparison.  Shout out to Michael Tashnick (local hero and owner of the best Austin sports bar) for extending the invite to us.

The railcar, originally built in the 1920s and owned by DeJoria since 1996, has been lodged at the Amtrak station just to the west of downtown Austin since last week (if you live at The Spring Condos in downtown Austin and face west – you may have seen it through your window), and last night Patrón held a special, intimate gathering to promote their fine, fine liquor and show off The Patrón Tequila Express.  I ate to my heart’s content, took a ton of pictures (including one with the billionaire himself – I die!), and reveled in all the cool stuff (special things happening all the time, that don’t make it to the mainstream) that happens in Downtown Austin!

I think the pictures speak for themselves! (Many thinks to friend and Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association President Mitchell McGovern for sharing some of his pics, too!).  Just FYI, this was pretty much Jude and I’s reaction faces the whole time we were in the train:

cat-awe

Gallery after the jump…. [Read more…]