Work starts soon on 2nd Wheatsville location

Just a few more months.

With financing in place, a crucial city variance obtained and most equipment already selected, work will begin this month on Wheatsville Food Co-op’s second Austin location, which will be at 4001 S. Lamar Blvd.

The store is expected to open June 1, according to general manager Dan Gillotte.

“The reaction has been amazingly positive,” he said. “From the day we announced it and throughout the past few months we’ve gotten incredibly positive feedback from so many folks.”

Wheatsville overcame one potentially crippling hurdle last month, when members of Austin City Council unanimously voted to grant the grocer a variance that will allow beer and wine to be sold. The waiver was needed because of the store’s proximity to the Austin school district’s Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders.

“When we were seeking support for the variance, we got letters of support from the South Lamar Neighborhood Association and hundreds of other individual South Austin neighbors,” Gillotte said.

Features at the new store will include an artisan bakery, expanded meat, seafood and prepared foods sections and a kitchen-equipped classroom. Wheatsville is committed to being as eco-friendly as possible, Gillotte said, and will recycle construction debris, compost in-store waste, provide ample bicycle parking and install energy-efficient fixtures and low-flow toilets.

Clinics expand Austin presence

A rapidly growing Austin-based chain of urgent care centers is gobbling up retail space around town.

Since August 2011, MedSpring has opened six Central Texas clinics. The newest one debuted this month at 208 W. Ben White Blvd. Other locations are in the Anderson Mill area, Cedar Park, Central Austin, Round Rock and adjacent to the University of Texas campus.

“We’re thrilled to continue expanding our Austin presence,” said Dr. Jon Belsher, the company’s chief medical officer. “In addition to quality medical care, patients can find … unique amenities including complimentary snacks and beverages, in-room TVs and activities for children.”

MedSpring has also opened five urgent care centers in Houston and just recently entered the Chicago area.

Each clinic is staffed by doctors from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, treating patients with broken bones, colds, coughs, sprains and a variety of other non-life threatening ailments.

Let someone else do the cooking

If you don’t have the time – or desire – to cook, Beetnik Foods can help.

The newly launched food delivery service sells an assortment of meals – many of them pre-cooked and flash-frozen – concocted in an East Austin test kitchen. Offerings include cage-free poultry, grass-fed beef, pastas, Thai basil tilapia fillets and veggie egg white omelets.

Food packages feature enough to serve a family of four.

“Beetnik is quintessentially quirky … like the city we live in,” executive chef David Perkins said. “Great food is about great ingredients. That’s so important to us that we invest in the best farmers and ranchers in Central Texas, who are passionate about their products, their people and the environment.”

While Beetnik is based here in Austin, it offers nationwide delivery.

“I chose to start a business in Austin because Austin is home,” CEO Britt Hager said. “I played football at UT and have lived and raised a family here over the past 30 years. I have always admired the relaxed and healthy lifestyle that Austinites abide by, which is eventually what inspired us to create a company like Beetnik.”

Learn more at

The express lane …

Mattress retailer Sleep Experts has opened its eighth Austin-area store at 9705 Research Blvd. in the Arboretum area. … Austin’s one and only Saks has closed. The high-end retailer announced plans to shutter the store late last year. … Car2Go has moved its downtown offices to a new location. Find the car-sharing service at 1717 W. Sixth St., Suite 425. … Japan Café is coming soon to the Lakeline Mall food court. … Austin Emergency Center is taking over the former Blockbuster Video space at 3563 Far West Blvd. … A new Chuck E. Cheese’s pizza restaurant is under construction near the Southpark Meadows shopping center in South Austin. … The Stein Mart store at 13729 Research Blvd. is clearing out merchandise in preparation for its impending move to the nearby Lakeline Market shopping center. … Cheapo Records, 914 N. Lamar Blvd., has shut down.

Gary Dinges covers the business of retail and entertainment for the American-Statesman. Contact him at, 912-5987 or @gdinges on Twitter.

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