Deep Eddy Vodka's in high spirits

photo from the sawyer & co. facebook page

I stopped by the new Sugar Mama's Bakeshop East (2406 Manor Rd.) on opening day. Owner Olivia O'Neal had already ironed out glitches with the POS system and the coffeemaker, and happy customers were leaving with delectable treats. O'Neal is excited about the impending arrival of former Contigo pastry chef Kendall Melton, who will be in charge of the plated desserts to be featured in the store's dessert lounge launching later in the month. While we were there, we noticed the staff at Dai Due Butcher Shop and Supper Club diligently tasting Texas wines in preparation for the eagerly anticipated opening next week.

I also chatted with 2Dine4 Catering owner Stephen Shallcross about the progress on his new venture, the New Orleans-inspired diner Sawyer & Co. (4827 E. Cesar Chavez), featuring stylish midcentury modern interiors by eclectic restaurant designer Mickie Spencer. Shallcross reports they've been testing Louisiana-style menu items developed by consulting chef Happy Abdelbaki at Supper Friends dinners at the Swoop House this summer, and that chef Chris Chism will command the kitchen when Sawyer & Co. opens later this month.

The owners of Austin's Deep Eddy Vodka have recently secured $13 million in investment capital for an expansion of the rapidly growing spirit brand. Look for Deep Eddy to open a distillery near Dripping Springs in the late fall – which will enable them to welcome the public to a tasting room for their straight, sweet tea, and Ruby Red grapefruit- and cranberry-infused vodkas as well as increase their production capacity to over 2 million cases per year.

Kudos to Austin's Snap Kitchen for recently being recognized as one of the 2014 Hot Concepts by trade publication Nation's Restaurant News. The healthy food takeout company will receive an award at the Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators Conference in Dallas in October.

Although Hill-Bert's Burgers didn't renew their lease at 7211 Burnet Rd. this month, fans of the 40-year-old Austin burger brand will be pleased to know the dine-in outlet at 1503 W. 35th is still going strong. The Maldonado family plans to reopen the location at 5340 Cameron with a drive-through before the end of the year. We've recently learned that the second outlet of the Twisted Root Burger Co. chain out of Dallas will take over the Burnet Road location sometime this fall. Austin's first Twisted Root is located in the West Campus neighborhood.

Speaking of local burger brands, Patrick Terry announced last week that we can expect the 10th outlet of his rapidly expanding company to open Downtown (515 Congress) later this year.

Invitations for the friends-and-family soft opening of the long-awaited Southern restaurant Olamaie (1610 San Antonio St.) finally went out over the weekend, which means the actual opening is not far behind.

Those on the lookout for custom cocktail bargains should check out the summer happy hour offerings at Uchiko (4200 N. Lamar), the Salty Sow (1917 Manor Rd.), and the Vince Young Steakhouse (301 San Jacinto).

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Austin food news, Olivia O'Neal, Kendall Melton, Dai Due Butcher Shop and Supper Club, Contigo, 2Dine4 Catering, Stephen Shallcross, Sawyer & Co., Mickie Spencer, Happy Abdelbaki, Supper Friends, Swoop House, Chris Chism, Deep Eddy Vodka, Snap Kitchen, Hill-Bert's Burgers, Twisted Root Burger Co., Patrick Terry, P. Terry's Burger Stand, Olamaie

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