Suerte’s Owner Announces New Restaurant Concept on Manor Road

The Mexican seafood concept boasts Suerte’s executive chef at the helm

The much-anticipated announcement of what Sam Hellman-Mass, owner of East Austin favorite Suerte, plans to do with the space that formerly housed Eastside Cafe finally came Thursday morning. The new restaurant, Este, will be a Mexican-inspired seafood restaurant.

Suerte's shrimp tostada (Photo by Adam Kingman)

Almost a year ago, the Chronicle spoke with Hellman- Mass about his plans for the 2113 Manor Road restaurant space. In January 2019, Eastside Café owner Elaine Martin announced that she sold her property to Hellman-Mass and that the café would close that month after being in operation since 1988.

"We have been working on this concept for over a year now and Fermín and I are really excited about Mexican seafood," said Hellman-Mass in the press release. "We spent time traveling through Mexico going to Guadalajara, Ensenada, and Puerto Escondido exploring coastal Mexican cooking and seafood. We're thrilled to bring what we've learned from our travels to Austin and the Eastside in a totally new restaurant."

Suerte’s executive chef Fermín Núñez will extend his executive chef role to the new concept (while staying on at Suerte as well) and both men are, according to the release, “excited to work with sustainable seafood purveyors and bring in a bounty of the freshest fish and shellfish. They will also continue to source ingredients from local farmers and the menu will highlight the flavors of coastal Mexican cuisine.”

Núñez, raised in Mexico, is an acclaimed chef known for his focus on masa and his work at star-studded restaurants like Launderette, La Condesa, and Uchiko. Hellman-Mass is known for his contributions to opening critically acclaimed Barley Swine and Odd Duck. Suerte continues making top restaurant lists across the country.

The new restaurant is currently scheduled to open in late 2020 or early 2021.

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