Crow Bar’s Gone in Flames, Good Work Austin Calls In the S.I. Votes, Pizza Is Pretty Much Rampant Everywhere, Festival Season’s Coming for Us All, and This Is Fine

All the news that’s fit to get your taste buds quivering

Here's some of what's happening in Austin's culinary scene, as wrangled from numerous PR releases, words on the digital street, and even the occasional (verified) IRL eavesdroppings.

Yes, that’s right, it’s your “Food News Buffet” for the fourth week of September 20 … 22? Yeah.

Crowing, crowing, gone: The Crow Bar in ruins (Photo courtesy of Daniel William Chisenhall)

Crow Bar, the much-loved neighborhood pub at 3116 S. Congress, has been destroyed in a fire. As reported by KVUE, Austin’s ABC affiliate, “Firefighters responded to a fire at Crow Bar around 4:20am on Sept. 18. Austin Fire Department stated in a tweet that crews determined the fire to be intentionally set.” Seems that some guy decided, for whatever fucked reason, to torch the place. Meanwhile, the arson investigation continues; the former watering hole is a soggy shambles; and local bartender Aryn Black has set up a GoFundMe to help Crow Bar staff displaced by the disaster

In much happier news, the fine folks at Good Work Austin have launched a campaign called “ATX Service Industry Votes” that’s focused on registering and engaging as many voters as possible, to ensure that the local service industry’s voice is heard in November’s election. Damn right, people: Don’t 86 democracy too quickly – register yourself, if you haven’t already, and tell all your hospitality-forward and sidework-hating friends to do the same…

Oy, there’s so much ado about pizza lately, isn’t there? A constant demand that seems to keep growing? (We recently told you about Show Me Pizza’s delicious fare – and their pizza box art program. The very existence of Home Slice is reason to celebrate in this town. The popular Jester King Brewery, already boasting a bounty of beers and burgers, is now offering a variety of wood-fired pies on the weekends. Sonny Chub’s mobile pizza parlor will surely survive that Crow Bar fire. Why, even old-school chain Mr. Gatti’s is staging a comeback, with a full rebranding to help take their company back to its robust Seventies origins.) Totally makes sense, then, that Ooni, the Scotland-based pizza oven brand, is expanding their U.S. headquarters here in Austin. They opened in June 2021 with a team of 15; they’ve now got 60 people working locally; they’re expecting to grow by 50% over the next year. Ooni’s new HQ is located at 979 Springdale, with more than 30,000 square feet that will be equipped with offices, prep kitchens, and a rooftop for making tasty Sicilian pies. But don’t be confused: This is not a pizza shop per se, mmmkay? Ooni’s primary business is making and selling pizza ovens. Check them (and their many employment ops) out here

Let’s see – what else, what else? The Central Market Cooking School is back and pretty damn wonderfulYasmin Diallo Turk tells us “Where to Find Arabic Breakfast in Austin”… Honey Moon Spirit Lounge is adding executive chef Raul Castillo and sous chef Raul Dominguez to their team – alongside new fall dishes and cocktails that’ll bring even more culinary power to the already impressive menus… Bulevar Mexican Kitchen – the new sister store to acclaimed ATX Cocina – is open in the Arboretum, featuring the kitchen wizardry of chef Kevin Taylor and boasting a mighty mix of “masa, meat, and margs”… Downtown diners seeking a weekend brunch buffet that’s on par with the excellence found at the Four Seasons but isn’t the Four Seasons can now rejoice with the impressive spread from chef Nick Erven at Wax Myrtle’s in the Thompson Hotel (506 San Jacinto)… Locals looking for Rosh Hashanah dining options can enjoy the Mediterranean style to-go dinner that is Aba chef CJ Jacobson’s twist on the special holiday menu. Note: You’ve got to order by 5pm on Fri., Sept. 23, for pickup (at 1011 S. Congress) on Sunday or Monday…

WUXTRY! Culinary superstars Jo Chan of Eberly and Amanda Rockman of New Waterloo are joining forces for a spectacular secret-location dinner called Midnight in the Garden this Saturday & Sunday, with tickets going fast but maybe still available hereFierce Whiskers is holding the inaugural Austin Bourbon Battle as part of their anniversary celebrations this Saturday … And, next Wednesday, all the noms & bevs sold at Sour Duck Market will be supercharging our local YMCA… We’re not sure, at press time, if there are any tickets still left for the Garrison Brothers Bourbon Dinner next Thursday, but we’re certain that Twin Liquors’ Bourbon Heritage Sale continues through Saturday… And here comes Oktoberfest and the WhiskyX and the Austin Coffee Festival and that Quesoff and – yeah, we’ll keep it covered for you right here, citizen…

Now eat as well as you can, tip like it’s going out of style, and remember that “we’re all in this together” is supposed to be a good thing.

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