Virginia B. Wood breaks out.

Plenty o' News

Boy, I leave town for a few days and news breaks out all over! I'm still catching up. For the past year, the Sustainable Food Center (236-0074, has been working to create an Austin Farmers' Market in Downtown. On Oct. 21, Mayor Gus Garcia and SFC Executive Director Mark Skrabacz announced they expect the growers-only market to open in Republic Square Park in June 2003. In order for the market to become a reality, the SFC must raise $150,000 in operating money during their current "Weigh In" capital campaign, which gives Austinites who would like to see the market happen an opportunity to vote with their checkbooks. Check out the SFC Web site for more information on tax-deductible donations... Longtime Austin restaurateur Stan Adams will close Gilligan's (407 Colorado, 474-7474) after a huge New Year's Eve bash and open a new Brick Oven Pizzeria in far South Austin, near Slaughter and Manchaca, in March 2003. A group of first-time restaurant owners, including Greg and Stacy Davidson, Billie Dixon, and Joseph Bannister, will take over the Gilligan's space after the first of the year as the home for their new upscale Southern food eatery, Crimson. Look for Crimson to open in the spring of 2003, and keep an eye on Greg Davidson's ongoing column, "Starting From Scratch," in Nation's Restaurant News where he'll chronicle the operation's progress... After stints at both Emilia's and Collin B's, popular local wine guys Michael McGovern and Matt Berendt have returned to their original home at Mezzaluna (310 Colorado, 472-6770) where you can drop in to welcome them back and get great wine suggestions to complement your meal... Staff and patrons at Jeffrey's (1204 West Lynn, 477-5584) have recently welcomed legendary waiter Johnny Guffey back to work after his successful multiple bypass surgery this summer. Note to David Garrido: No more foie gras for Johnny... Drop by the Bitter End Bistro & Brewery (311 Colorado, 478-2337) and try brewmeister Tim Schwartz's two award-winning brews. Both his longtime stalwart Prescott's Wee Heavy -- a strong Scotch ale -- and the Lip Burner Lambie -- a Belgian-style sour ale -- won silver medals at the recent Great American Beer Festival in Denver. The Lip Burner is a brand-new brew made with Mustang grapes picked on the Schwartz family ranch near Seguin and aged in oak barrels at Becker Vineyards near Stonewall. Check out both brews... The River City's newest sushi bar is now open in Downtown. Look for Sake on Sixth (621-A E. Sixth, 478-8788) at the corner of Sixth and Sabine in the former Kaya Blue location. According to our friend Jason Levitt at, the décor is attractive, and there's an e-jukebox on the wall so patrons can choose their own music.

Vespaio & 'The Godfather'

My item was incomplete last week when I referred to Brenton Childs as a "chef" in an item about Vespaio's (1610 S. Congress, 441-6100) participation in our Eat, Drink, Watch Movies series. So, for the record: Alan Lazarus is the executive chef, Ryan Samson is the chef de cuisine, and Childs is the morning sous chef. According to Lazarus, Samson worked in the famed Napa Valley eatery Tre Vigne before coming to Austin and has been the driving force behind many recent Vespaio innovations such as daily homemade mozzarella and house-cured olives. Childs, however, will represent the restaurant at the upcoming Godfather screening (Monday, Nov. 4), which was almost sold out at press time. Make your reservations quickly at

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