Even Threadgill's gets the blues
Restaurateur Eddie Wilson has one of the most amazing collections of iconic local neon signs and Texas beer and music scene memorabilia imaginable. He's decided it's time to put selected items on the market, and New Braunfels' Burley Auction Group is handling the sale, which is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. Why the sale now? Wilson's lease options on the Downtown Threadgill's are tied to property values, and the rent has escalated 600% in the past year. Though the restaurant isn't going anywhere just yet, he is looking for more affordable locations locally and is seriously considering opening a Threadgill's in Auckland, New Zealand. Wilson's stepdaughter, Renée O'Connor, still has a home in Auckland from her days on Xena: Warrior Princess, and he's discovered a legion of loyal Kiwi fans who eat at Threadgill's when they come to South by Southwest every year. They're scouting locations and have already made him a sign. "I love Austin, but the beer garden of Eden would be there," says Wilson.
Chef Parind Vora advises us that his restaurant Jezebel (600 W. Sixth) is neither closed nor for lease and is still serving dinner Tuesdays-Saturdays, 6:30-10:30pm. According to Vora, his landlords in the Cirrus building did buy out his lease on the former Bar Mirabeau/Tapasitas space. He also said he's living on 10 acres in Dale and seriously pursuing the idea of opening a restaurant to be called Bistro 207 in Lockhart, an underserved market for anyone not hungry for barbecue.
A-OK Chinese (1509 S. Lamar) closed quietly over the weekend with a note posted on Facebook by owners John Bullington (now of Austin Java) and Jerry Reid thanking their clientele. The lease on the 8-month-old restaurant space will be taken over by Jae Kim, bringing the first brick-and-mortar outlet of his popular Chi'Lantro BBQ to South Austin. "I started the food truck in February of 2010 with no money, so this is a wonderful situation for us, to be able to take over the lease on a location that already has a kitchen," Kim told us this week. "John and Jerry have been very helpful, shared lots of good advice. We're only going to do some minor design touches and hope to be open in there by mid-January, pretty quick." In other Chi'Lantro news, Kim has just signed a lease to have one of his mobile units at the new food court at the Domain II from 11am-9pm daily, while the other two continue to move around town, according to a schedule posted at www.chilantrobbq.com.
After a few days of media previews and soft openings, the first brick-and-mortar outlet of Eric Silverstein's the Peached Tortilla (5520 Burnet Rd.) opens on Thursday, Dec. 4. In the new permanent space, Silverstein and his team will be able to expand and enhance the menu that has developed such a loyal following for the food truck. The concept here will be sharable plates with modern Asian and Southern comfort food influences. The eatery also offers a full bar.