There’s a different vibe from the time you land at the Austin, Texas International airport. All the shops are local brands which speaks volumes of the strong independent streak this rapidly growing Texas city proudly proclaims. The first two vehicles I saw in the Lyft line, a pick up truck and a Mercedes. In the security line to go to your gate, a stand to help remove your cowboy boots
Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the country-estimates are 150 arrivals per day— as the metro area approaches two million. What’s bringing them jobs, jobs and more jobs in technology, health care, state government, the music scene and the University of Texas. It’s also becoming a popular tourist destination, especially for bachelorette parties.
Chef Harold Marmulstein has witnessed much of the recent growth. A 30 year veteran in the food service business, Marmulstein was one of the pioneering Atlanta chefs who carved out a niche for fine dining in the suburbs when he and brother Richard opened DIck & Harry’s in 1996, in Roswell.
After an 11 year stint in Atlanta, and a brief sojourn in Sarasota Florida, Marmulstein re-located to Austin where he opened the first Salty Sow in 2012. A pioneering American gastro pub on the then neglected east side, the restaurant has spawned a twin in Phoenix and the first of several planned Tumble 22, a Nashville style chicken centric concept (the 22 is for the number of times the chicken is dredged in flour before hitting the fryer.)
When asked about what’s unique about the Austin market the quick answer is the frequency that people dine out. Driven by free-spending millennials and comfortable baby boomers restaurants stay busy. The streets are active with numerous outdoor patios filled day and night
There’s an abundance of food truck parks, pop up trailers crowding gas station lots and numerous walk up cafes and restaurants, either free-standing or ensconced in high rise buildings. There’s a friendly street vibe, especially along bustling Congress Avenue.
The rapidly gentrifying corridor, that once housed funky boutiques and small music venues is now seeing the onslaught of national brands pushing rents north of the $100/sq. Ft mark.
While there’s no shortage of Mexican fare, there’s a limited number of other ethnic choices especially Chinese and Italian. As one local said “it’s easy to get a burrito but hard to find a good parmigiana.”
In the brief time we had we enjoyed outstanding and unique Asian influenced barbecue at Loro,
For accommodations, check out the Hotel San Jose, perhaps the first hotel we’ve ever stayed at that has a documentary about it’s former life, as a seedy low end tourist court and its myriad of then guests and residents before being completely renovated, playing on a continuous loop. It’s conveniently located in the middle of the Congress street corridor.
A factoid. Subway sells more sandwiches in a year (over $10 billion worth) then it’s next four competitors combined (Arby’s Jimmy John’s, Jersey Mike’s and Firehouse) by over two billion dollars.
Recent transactions for The Shumacher Group Inc. include
Land purchase I-Hop, Griffin, Ga.
Sales of the following businesses:
The LoKal, Kennesaw
Taco Cantina Old Fourth Ward
UFO Hibachi Express Johns Creek
Park Bench Buckhead Village to Stagecoach