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The Flight of the Night Bird
Harry Akin opened for business on Christmas Eve, 1932, selling hamburgers for 15 cents apiece. Cuisines Editor Virginia B. Wood reveals how Akin turned his hamburger stand into Austin's former restaurant empire.
Food Story  January 26, 2001, by Virginia B. Wood
"...By the time beloved Austin restaurateur Harry Akin died in 1976, the story of how he'd founded the very successful Night Hawk restaurant chain had passed into local legend. In the nearly 25 years since his death, all but one of the Night Hawks has closed, the population and personality of Austin have changed significantly, and few people remember Akin or his smashing restaurant success..."

Night Hawk Alumni
Food Story  January 26, 2001, by Virginia B. Wood
"...There was a time in the city of Austin when having a Night Hawk job on your résumé commanded respect and insured employment at hotels, restaurants, and country clubs around Central Texas. It would be impossible to track all the "graduates" of Harry Akin's highly regarded in-house cooking, butchering, and management training programs, but here are the names of a few locals who parlayed their top quality Night Hawk training into further business success...."

Walgreens, what will you think of next? Plus, Hi.
Food Column  July 21, 2006, by Virginia B. Wood
"...She wished there was something that could be done to keep that from happening. Open since 1953, the Frisco Shop really is a throwback to a bygone era, and it's the last remaining outlet of a restaurant dynasty created by legendary local restaurateur and former mayor Harry Akin..."

Austin Landmarks on the Menu
Food Story  September 12, 2008, by Kate Thornberry
"...When Harry Akin opened the Frisco Shop in 1953, it was merely one pearl on his string of wildly successful Night Hawk restaurants. Located on (what was then) the northern outskirts of town, the Frisco Shop was the "small neighborhood diner" of the chain, built to feature Akin's patented Frisco hamburger sandwich, an extremely popular creation made with corn-fed beef, cheese, lettuce, tomato, relish, and special dressing...."

Exquisite control and spasmed anguish mark the performances of Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan in this dark, NC-17-rated story about a sex addict.
Film Review  December 16, 2011, by Kimberley Jones
"...Shame is spare enough to accommodate in progress that kind of psychologizing, although you might be too awash in grimness to get cooking on theories until afterward. (It'd make a hell of a triple feature with this fall's other bleak baths in the human condition-in-crisis, Melancholia and We Need To Talk About Kevin, which has yet to open in Austin.) Equally harrowing and heartrending, Shame is a film that feels akin to going into battle, and I for one didn't emerge unscathed. See "Sex Addiction and the City" for an interview with Steve McQueen...."

Down-Home for His Hometown
Food Story  April 15, 1999, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Robert Winston, was one of the chefs in the Night Hawk organization. He got me my first job busing tables and washing dishes at the old Night Hawk Steakhouse up on the highway." From 1973 until 1982, Hoover did just about every job in the house at the Night Hawks: cooking, tending bar, managing kitchens, even waiting tables -- making him the first man to do so in that chain..."

The Madness of King Geek
Harry Jay Knowles' Cool Movie News
Screens Story  June 6, 1997, by Marc Savlov
"...His enthusiasm for what he does and what he wants to do is wildly infectious. Talking to him is akin to talking to 10 different versions of Quentin Tarantino simultaneously, while 10 different film scores play in the background and 10 different films unspool around you..."

Austin-Based Restaurant Chains
Food Story  June 3, 2011, by Mick Vann
"...No mention of local Austin chains can ignore the impact of Harry Akin's Night Hawk restaurants, considered the granddaddy of the concept locally. Akin started with a burger stand in the Depression year of 1932 at South Congress and Riverside, with late hours, 15-cent hamburgers, and a good cup of coffee..."

Chain Gangs
Torchy's Tacos and Verts Kebap: two case studies in culinary expansion
Food Story  March 28, 2014, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Along with football teams, quirky politicians, guitar slingers, and independent filmmakers, Austin is also known as the home base for several successful restaurant chains. Former mayor Harry Akin started his long-running chain of Night Hawk restaurants and steakhouses in the Thirties, spawning a very successful frozen-food company..."

Campaign Money Fattening Local Coffers
The latest campaign finance reports show who's supporting which candidates for mayor and council
News Story  January 23, 2009, by Wells Dunbar
"...Her contributors include several familiar old Austin dynasties: Frisco Shop proprietor R. Harry Akin, nephew of Night Hawk founder and former Mayor Harry Akin, donated $350; former UT president and Chancellor William H..."

The Frisco Shop: Last of the Legend
Food Story  January 26, 2001, by Virginia B. Wood
"...When I sat in a booth with Frisco Shop co-owner Lawrence Baker to discuss the longevity of the north Austin restaurant (49 years and counting), our conversation was periodically interrupted by patrons who insisted on greeting Baker as they arrived or departed. He graciously greeted each customer by name, shaking hands, expressing his gratitude for their business..."

The Life and Times of Gus Garcia
City Council Member Gus Garcia retires after more than 30 years of public service
News Story  June 2, 2000, by Daryl Slusher
"...A council majority supported the efforts and voted the ordinance into law. Voting yes were Nichols, Emma Long, and Nighthawk proprietor Harry Akin, who had integrated his restaurants well before other Austin eateries..."

Restaurant Flashbacks From the Frisco Shop
Last vestige of Nighthawk chain serves comfort food and memories
DAILY Food  May 29, 2013, by Mick Vann
"...The Frisco Shop opened in 1953 as a diner offshoot of the Nighthawk Restaurants of innovative restaurateur and former local mayor Harry Akin. It was located just south of the intersection of Koenig Lane and Burnet Road..."

In Memoriam: Ken Johnson
Remembering the versatile theatre artist, who died March 2
DAILY Arts  March 8, 2018, by Robert Faires
"...Johnson's work ranged from family fare (Peter Pan, Oliver!) to recent Broadway hits (The Odd Couple, Funny Girl) to weighty dramas (A Man for All Seasons, Billy Budd, A Streetcar Named Desire), and were routinely praised – most often by the Dean of Austin Entertainment, John Bustin, writing in the Austin American-Statesman – with references to the increasing professionalism that Johnson brought to his productions. No less a personage than Harry Akin, Austin's mayor from 1967-69, credited Johnson with bringing "our community theatre to a higher level of artistic excellence than it had ever achieved previously with the result that public support was greatly broadened.” [image-2]..."

Eight Classic Austin Burgers That Rival Whataburger
These local institutions have been around since at least 1968
DAILY Food  February 21, 2018, by Acacia Coronado
"...Specializing in the art of burger making since 1939, Hut’s gives you choices. The beef is purchased locally, and the menu also includes buffalo, longhorn beef, boneless chicken breast, and a vegan burger..."

Food-o-File: Early Edition
Austin's restaurants go prix fixe crazy
DAILY Food  September 10, 2014, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Both restaurants currently have parking lots and drive-thru lanes which are not likely to be replaceable in the campus area, so we don't look for them to relocate in the neighborhood. Players has been an all night campus area mainstay for years, while the busy Schlotzky's outlet sits on the former site of one of Harry Akin's beloved NightHawk restaurant locations...."

Seduced by Austin
Jesse Herman – hospitality pro, mover and shaker with the Austin Food & Wine Festival – is making his mark on his adopted town
Food Story  April 25, 2014, by Virginia B. Wood
"...While it's true that Herman isn't a native Austinite or even a Texan, he recognized like so many before him the seductive "City of the Violet Crown" as an ideal place to settle down and create businesses. Herman is likely to join such visionary hospitality professionals as Harry Akin, Ralph Moreland, Eddie Wilson, and Tom Gilliland in making his mark on the River City..."

The New Look of Fine Dining
Austin's emerging restaurant empires
Food Story  February 14, 2014, by Rachel Feit
"...Schlotzsky's, Chuy's, Kerbey Lane Cafe, and Thundercloud Subs all started here with humble roots. And long before that, Harry Akin built a small kingdom with a string of Night Hawk diners..."

Food-o-File for the Week of Oct. 14
October's foodie calendar keeps us all on our toes
DAILY Food  October 11, 2011, by Virginia B. Wood
"...Austin restaurateur Hoover Alexander is working with the nonprofit culinary culture organization Foodways Texas to raise funds for the completion of an oral history project and short film about the career of legendary Austin restaurateur Harry Akin and his Nighthawk restaurant chain. Foodways Texas director Marvin Bendele has located a matching grant program and now Alexander needs to raise $3,700 to qualify for the matching funds..."

No Reservations, Mindy Kucan's Hot Summer Night, and more
Food Column  August 3, 2007, by Virginia B. Wood
"...There will be more Hatch chiles at restaurants and markets around town as the month continues... Drop into either Hoover's Cooking outlet (2002 Manor Rd., 479-5006; 13376 Research #400, 335-0300) to check out their new daily specialty salads and burgers, including one dedicated to Hoover's mentor, Night Hawk founder Harry Akin....."

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