Why were Pacifica's employees locked out of the restaurant, much to their surprise? Virginia B. Wood updates readers on that news and other restaurant updates.

Lock Out

Staff members at Pacifica (3801 N. Capitol of Texas Hwy.) showed up for work last week only to find the swanky Northwest Austin eatery padlocked as part of a bankruptcy proceeding. Now they're out pounding the pavement, which should help some of the local restaurateurs in need of trained employees. Pacifica is a beautifully appointed restaurant in a dynamite location. Should be interesting to see who steps in as the new operator.

BBQ News

Rudy's Country Store & BBQ (2451 S. Capital of Texas Hwy., 329-5554; 11570 Research, 418-9898) broke ground this week at 2400 N. I-35 in Round Rock, and they've promoted John Leach to area director of operations in anticipation of the opening of Rudy's third Austin-area outlet... The December 15 after-hours fire at the County Line on the Lake (5204 FM 2222, 327-1959) consumed the pit area and caused the speedy relocation of several holiday parties to the County Line on the Hill (6500 Bee Caves Road, 327-1742). The Lake outlet reopened for business on the 10th. Look for new developments at the original Hill location by summer's end when the kitchen there will be remodeled to facilitate lunch service.

Manor Road Restaurant Row

Dining at Hoover's Cooking (2002 Manor Road, 479-5006), it's obvious that success has become the mother of remodeling there. The restaurant's entry and waiting areas are currently being re-configured and cocktail tables will be added near the bar. They're also adding a private dining room that can accommodate up to 30 people... At Eastside Cafe (2113 Manor Road, 476-5858), permits are in place to enclose the lovely patio area, maintaining the comfortable outdoor feel with the added benefit of climate control. Eastside soup chef Ruth Carter reports that she's enlisted the aid of new gardener Ezra Reynolds in planting and cooking up great ideas for spring soups. In the proud old Austin tradition, Reynolds is a musician with a restaurant day job. (He's with a band called the Free Range Bastards, though I'm partial to Carter's suggestion, the Gardenaires.)... Gaby & Mo's (1809 Manor Road, 457-0006) is thriving; with their good pastries and daily blue plate specials, it comes as no surprise. We also noticed a window banner announcing the opening of a new restaurant called "Kum-by-Yah" in the 1900 block of Manor between Gaby & Mo's and the Calabash (2015 Manor Road, 478-4857). More on that as it develops.

New Jobs

Former Green Gourmet Catering owner Diana Welsch has forsaken the joys of self-employment and was recently named director of catering at the Holiday Inn Northwest Plaza/Arboretum (8901 Business Park Drive, 343-0888x617). In her new position, Welsch is responsible for event planning, catering sales, and party bookings... Chef Adrian Creasey has left the position of director of operations with the San Gabriel Restaurant Group. After years in the corporate world, word is the well-traveled chef would like to open a restaurant of his own.

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