Wu Chow Opens, St. Philip Shutters

Daily Austin food news

photo by John Anderson

Dumplings in, pizza out in your afternoon food news.

Two of Austin's powerhouse restaurant groups are in the news this week. The Uchi Group made surprising news yesterday when it announced the closing of the St. Philip Pizza Parlor Nov. 1, after only one year of operation. Originally developed as a pizza parlor and bakeshop with plenty of beer on tap at the full bar, St. Philip was the group's first venture outside its wildly successful Japanese restaurants that include Uchi and Uchiko in Austin, plus Uchi outlets in Houston and Dallas. The project underwent a series of mishaps with the much-publicized early departure of co-creator chef Philip Speer, followed by chef and menu changes, and the closure of the never-prosperous bakeshop. Neither the restaurant nor the bakeshop ever seemed to have a clear focus the dining public could identify with, unlike the group's other highly respected eateries. St. Philip was the anchor attraction of the redeveloped property that was the longtime home to a Wolfe's Nursery, followed by Cannoli Joe's, the County Line's foray into Italian cuisine. The small center is still home to Salon by Milk + Honey and the Stouthaus Coffee Pub. No word yet on any plans for the empty St. Philip space or the remaining section of the center, an as-yet undeveloped restaurant space.

Though the official opening date of the Chameleon Group's long-awaited Wu Chow isn't until Thursday, Nov. 5, soft opening guests are already raving about the food and cocktails on social media. Genial co-owner C. K. Chin tells us the pre-opening phase has been hectic, but they are ready to sling some soup dumplings. The restaurant will only be open for dinner initially, but will eventually expand to weekend dim sum service and lunch.

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