Elizabeth Street Cafe Now Open On South First

Elizabeth Street Cafe Now Open

Tuesday, December 27, 2011, by Andrea Grimes

elizabethst_cafe.jpgThe Elizabeth Street Cafe, a “casual eatery serving simple Vietnamese cuisine in an environment inspired by acozy French neighborhood café” soft-opened last week on South First, where it replaced the beloved Bouldin Creek Coffee House, and this morning they served their first breakfast.

Eater Austin talked to Chef Larry Maguire back in November, who said the Elizabeth Street Cafe will “serve the neighborhood” and feature his restaurant group’s first restaurant garden. (Maguire and partner Tom Moorman are the guys behind Lamberts Downtown Barbecue and Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.) So far, Yelpers love it.

The 445 Newcomers to Bouldin

The 445 newcomers to Bouldin

By Michael Barnes | Monday, December 19, 2011, 08:32 PM

Austin360 blogs > Out & About > Archives > 2011 > December > 19

When we moved to the Bouldin area for good in 1997, our bungalow was new.

Although experts have since been fooled by its reverence for early-century gables, porches and windows (not the brand new house pictured below), it surged to the vanguard of latter-day construction for this neighborhood first laid out in the 1870s.

Since then, at least 445 new houses, duplexes or condos — I include substantial additions — have been built in Bouldin between South Congress Avenue and Lamar Boulevard, Barton Springs Boulevard and Oltorf Street.


How do I know this? Because Nora the Explorer Lab and I carefully surveyed the newcomers during two recent weeks of early-morning walks.

Stark, modernist entries have received outsized attention, yet they make up less than 10 percent of the new residences. The rest would be classified by real estate agents as “traditional,” although given its 100-year history, streamlined modernism ought to be considered yet another traditional style. (One early modern sample sits among some lovely prewar homes on lower Bouldin Avenue.)

I’m willing to bet Bouldin is the most eclectic neighborhood, architecturally, in the city. This is due, in part, to the sale of the previously underappreciated land, slowly, with very few large-scale developments over the past 140 years.

So what was here before the 445 newbies?

Among the first settlers were African Americans, who put up cabins of vertical-plank construction. Their descendants still live among us, despite the 1928 City of Austin urban plan that (passively) attempted to segregate blacks to East Austin by refusing to extend basic services to neighborhoods like ours.

At least four tall, wooden farmhouses — the most famous now serving as Green Pastures restaurant — and a few stone farmhouses survive from the 19th century. After 1900, poor whites joined the African Americans, as humorist and civil rights advocate John Henry Faulk relates in “The Uncensored John Henry Faulk.”

“In those days I came to live to two separate worlds with distinct boundaries. Both were encompassed in South Austin, a neighborhood containing the farms of people like my father, a successful lawyer, as well as the shacks and tents of the poor black and white families living ‘down on the creek.’”

Some of those poor and working-class white families also still live within few doors of us, although the eldest members are passing away too quickly. They tell of a South Austin as a semi-rural place of dirt roads, frequent floods and hard work.

Latinos arrived in numbers after World War II. They lived in the cottages and bungalows that still dominate the hills around us.

Later, beatniks and hippies created idiosyncratic houses from almost any material — A-frames, concrete lilies, towers that offered skyline views and safety from prying police, as well as the bejeweled Never Never Land, just a block from our house. (A descendant of these fantasy homes is a stone castle recently built behind a small church on Mary Street.)

New BBQ in Bouldin

Texas BBQ connoisseur John Mueller is back serving tasty brisket, ribs, turkey, sausage and sides.  The food truck, massive smoker trailer, and picnic tables occupy an open lot on South First just south of Elizabeth (west side of street).  The local aficionados may remember Mueller’s original Austin eatery on Manor Rd – closed in 2006 to the dismay of fans.  However, early reviews indicate that the Mueller BBQ name is back and better than ever!  The brisket and pork ribs are our early favorites, and the chipotle coleslaw brings a unique tang to the BBQ staple.  They don’t serve beer, but I doubt they would mind if you brought your own.

Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am until they sell out!  You can also call in advance for to-go orders.

More information available on their website (jmuellerbbq.com) or their Facebook page – http://on.fb.me/v3rsL5

General Association Meeting Minutes

I. Introductions
Went around the room and all in attendance gave their name, street, and number of years in the neighborhood.

II. LiveStrong Austin Marathon
Informal presentation on marathon happening Sunday, February 19th. 21 years, 80% of runners come from outside of Austin. Talked about the Trash Runs that they have been running in our neighborhood, picking up roadside trash on the race route. On race morning, streets that will be closed will be southbound lanes of S. Congress and northbound lane of S. 1st, starting at 7am – 11am. Ari Witkin, ari@youraustinmarathon.com    512.585.0158

III. Butler Park Stakeholders Meeting Update
Stuart Hampton presented an update, along with a map, of the City’s current efforts at addressing the off-leash dog area within the 1999 Town Lake Master Plan.    Task Force has worked on a leash-free recommendation to move the off-leash area to the west to address safety concerns of runners/bikers colliding with dogs going into the lake. Stuart encouraged people to attend one of the open houses and/or fill out the survey available on-line to voice opinions.

IV. Elections
Ingrid Weigand is the Elections Committee. She reviewed the requirements that candidates for office need to be registered with the treasurer annually in order to be eligible to vote and become an officer. Jody Zemel spoke to encourage neighbors to volunteer.    Ingrid answered questions about the role of zone sector reps and neighborhood associations.
Motion to slate — Sam Carroll, Ronnie Ditmar Motion to call the question – Vandy Hendrickson, Gary Hyatt Motion to call election – unanimous Motion to fill slate of officers – unanimous, one abstention Candidates:
President — Cassidy Neal Vice President Internal: — Cyndi Collen Vice President External — Cory Walton Secretary — no eligible candidates came forward Communications Director — Gary Hyatt Green Zone — Vicki Knipp Lavender Zone — Laura Raun Carroll Blue Zone — Vandy Henrickson Yellow Zone — Bill Ley Pink Zone – Kevin Lewis Orange Zone – Bookie Orr Brown Zone — Stuart Hampton

V. Parks Report
Ingrid is chair of Parks Committee. Looking or volunteers. PARD requires us to remove brush and windrows. Need to hire a company to remove this for us. Parks Committee would like approval to spend $5,000 each from two parks funds to pay for this removal. Current estimate is $10,000.    Brad asked if it was prudent to spend any money removing the windrows as the city should be responsible for it, not out of our ‘funds. Motion to spend money from Vikki, second from Cyndi. Cory suggested a friendly amendment to contact city council members to say we want a bigger stake in our parks in exchange for taking on costs through current funds with a majority out of remediation funds by January 31st, 2012. Vote – 30 for, 1 oppose.

VI. South Congress Advisory Group
Cassidy presented a recap of what has taken place within this working group since August. Current neighbor feedback would like to see:
— Painting of curbs (for safety — Enforcement of site plans for restaurant — Increased parking enforcements for 2 hour limits on S. Congress — Increased CapMetro access from downtown to S. Congress.
During the working group meetings, changes to RPP have been suggested such as using RPP for only one side of the street. However, consensus in Yellow Zone to keep RPP as is. Cassidy proposes we take some of the work group items, hand deliver polling sheets to Yellow Zone, get affected neighbors feedback, and then gather all the input to determine the consensus position. Gary spoke on how the workgroup would like to wrap this up within 90 days. There was discussion among attendees about the RPP ordinance changes since June 2011.

VII.  Zoning Report
Brad gave the zoning report — — 1401 Bouldin Avenue does present as a residence with 12000 sq ft — 1501 S. 1st — days from opening — 1417 S. 1st – Thai restaurant did some grading and parking work over the past few
months and have a permit on the actual building. — 108 W. Gibson stalled out. — 1503 S. 1st there are rumors there will be a new trailer there. — W. Johanna, Friendly Will Baptist Church, under contract to a housing developer. — 900
S. 1st haven’t heard back as to where the process is in the development of that tract (vetting with immediate affected neighbors first).
— Barton Springs Dawson Road (former Treehouse) proposal for 278 units; demolition of existing property; resistance expressed to the number of units and the consequential traffic.
— North end of S. 3rd (across the creek from old Filling Station site) possible zoning change to get 10 units on the .5 acre lot.

VIII. Miscellaneous Announcements
— Cyndi spoke briefly about the new web-site and asked for input/feedback. — Cory discussed the Imagine Austin plan and its potential impact on future height limits increasing for new residential structures (potential high -rises).

Motion to adjourn by Ronnie, seconded by Stuart. Meeting adjourned 9:22pm.