- By Matthew Odam American-Statesman Staff
After more than 20 years in Central Austin, Austin Java will close the doors at its original location at 1206 Parkway St. The coffee spot and lunchtime hang that opened in 1995 will close permanently Nov. 1, with owners citing “economic changes in the area.”
The coffee shop always maintained its original ’90s Austin vibe, coming along well before the recent wave of hip coffee shops. Austin Java remains open at Austin City Hall on Second Street and at 1608 Barton Springs Road.
But don’t think that one closure means the business is struggling. In fact, the coffee shop announced they will be opening several new locations in the coming months and years. There is one opening at the end of this year at 3799 U.S. 290 in Dripping Springs and three slated for opening in 2018 and 2019 — at 5404 Manchaca Road, one at the Met Center at 7701 Metropolis Drive and one at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport cellphone lot.
Be More Pacific Kitchen and Bar , the Filipino restaurant spawned from the food truck that Mark Pascual and Giovan Cuchapin began six years ago, is now open at 7858 Shoal Creek Blvd. in the space previously occupied by Rebel Pizza Bar.
Guided by chefs Salvador Melgarejo, a Philippines native and cousin of Pascual, and Tony Dominguez, a veteran of the kitchen at La Condesa, the Filipino menu includes dishes like adobo pork sliders, lumpia Shanghai (mini pork and shrimp egg rolls served with sweet chili sauce), pinakbet (stewed mixed vegetables featuring bitter melon, served over steamed rice) and sisig (sizzling pork bits mixed with fresh onion and topped with fried egg).
“We know that Filipino food is good, is approachable — it just hasn’t been introduced properly,” Cuchapin said. “We want to show everyone.”
Be More Pacific is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and from 5 to 10 p.m. for dinner. Saturday hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
South Austin has a new option for casual Thai food. Krua Urban Thai opened recently at 2024 S. Lamar Blvd. in the small space formerly inhabited by Barley Swine. The menu features familiar dishes like Thai-style chicken wings, Northern Thai sausage, a variety of curries, crab fried rice and more. Krua is initially open from 5 to 10 p.m. daily, with plans to add lunch, brunch and online ordering.
The small center where Krua is located has seen almost complete turnover in recent years, with Barley Swine, Henri’s, Lick and Horseshoe Lounge departing in place of Krua, Tiny Pies and Golden Goose.
There are some changes on the way for longtime Clarksville-area favorite Cafe Josie . The restaurant will end its weekday lunch service at the end of this week, but the weekday changes does not mean the end of sunlight service at the West Sixth Street spot.
Cafe Josie will add Sunday brunch service (10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) on Nov. 12. Following in the format of their dinner Experience (unlimited evening dining for $45), Cafe Josie will serve a Brunch Experience for $25. The menu will be set up in a tasting menu style, with diners able to choose whichever dishes they want and however much they want. The menu includes dishes like shrimp and grits, pancakes and biscuits and gravy. Reservations are now be accepted at cafejosie.com.
With the new brunch hours come changes to dinner, as well. Beginning next week, Cafe Josie will open at 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday for happy hour and offer a la carte offerings in addition to their Experience.
Hurricane Harvey relief
Uchi restaurants across Texas are holding auctions to raise money for the Greater Houston Community Foundation, which is helping with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. People have the opportunity to bid on 10-course, beverage-paired meals for 12 at Uchi Houston and Dallas and Uchiko in Austin. All of the dinners will be hosted by Uchi founding chef Tyson Cole, who will join chefs from his team at each restaurant throughout the month to prepare the dinners.
Cole will be joined for the Nov. 6 meal in Dallas by chef de cuisine Alex Astranti, Nov. 13 at Uchiko by concept chef Kaz Edwards and on Nov. 20 by Uchi Houston chef de Cuisine Lance Gillum. Bidding, which ends Oct. 30, Nov. 6 and Nov. 13 for the respective dinners, starts at $4,000 and is currently taking place on Hai Hospitality’s website.