SLAB BBQ reopens, Cedar Park to host pop-up July 4 parades: Community and business news from Central Texas

SLAB BBQ & Beer co-owner Raf Robinson stands in front of a mural at the restaurant's Southwest Austin location in 2019. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
SLAB BBQ & Beer co-owner Raf Robinson stands in front of a mural at the restaurant's Southwest Austin location in 2019. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

SLAB BBQ & Beer co-owner Raf Robinson stands in front of a mural at the restaurant's Southwest Austin location in 2019. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)

Read the latest business and community news from Central Texas.

Southwest Austin

Through protests and pandemic, Black-owned SLAB BBQ finds voice in Austin community

SLAB BBQ & Beer co-owner Raf Robinson said reopening the restaurant to dine-in service June 1 after being closed due to coronavirus restrictions required making the safety of staff and customers his top priority.

St. David's South Austin COVID-19 patient returns home after two months hospitalized

Michael Arispe—a 59-year-old diabetic who lives in South Austin—went to the doctor’s office with a bad cough March 18, during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic in Travis County. He was prescribed cough syrup, told to self-quarantine as a precaution and sent home.

South Austin's Bear Creek Elementary courtyard named in honor of Hunter Lane Henderson

Austin ISD trustees on June 22 named the courtyard at South Austin’s future Bear Creek Elementary School in honor of Hunter Lane Henderson, a South Austin 4-year-old who died in 2018.

New Braunfels

Canyon Lake recreation areas to close on weekends due to large crowds, littering

The United States Army Corps of Engineers announced June 23 that recreation areas will close on weekends until further notice due to concerns for public safety and the local environment.

Lake Travis-Westlake

Halina European Day Spa opens in Westlake area

Halina European Day Spa opened in June at 3600 N. Capital of Texas Hwy., Austin. The spa previously called Woodhouse Day Spa is operating under new ownership and underwent a rebranding.

Round Rock-Pflugerville-Hutto

Suga's Cakery to set up permanent food trailer in downtown Pflugerville

Pflugerville residents will soon be able to have their cake and eat it too when Suga's Cakery opens a food trailer in downtown Pflugerville this summer.

NEW: Tailgates & Tunes summer concert series canceled in Hutto

The Tailgates & Tunes summer concert series planned for Hutto's Brushy Creek Amphitheater has been canceled, as announced in a June 23 news release. All upcoming public events for the city have been canceled, per the release.

Greater Austin Allergy, Asthma & Immunology relocates in Round Rock

Greater Austin Allergy, Asthma & Immunology relocated its Round Rock location in late March. Formerly located at 100 E. Main St., Ste. 101, Round Rock, Greater Austin Allergy now operates at 303 E. Main St., Round Rock.

Leander-Cedar Park

Cedar Park to host pop-up parades July 4; firework plans to be determined

In lieu of its regular July 4 parade, the city of Cedar Park will host neighborhood pop-up parades across the city.


Nena's Cazuelas brings authentic Mexican food to Georgetown

Adorned with brightly painted walls; colorful paper banners, known as papel picado; serapes and sombreros, the restaurant prides itself on its authenticity, serving dishes traditional to Mexico’s coasts, including seafood.

Georgetown's Barrels & Amps adds second stage, bar

Barrels & Amps added a second stage and bar to its business in early June.

The whiskey bar is located on the Georgetown Square at 718 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown, and offers a variety of alcoholic drinks, including 75 beers on tap.

Central Austin

ACC's Truth, Racial Healing, Transformation Campus Center taking shape

Austin Community College’s new Truth, Racial Healing, Transformation Campus Center is on track to launch next spring, according to the program's director, Khayree Williams. Williams, who joined the district earlier this year, said the district has already begun offering programs to provide the tools and skills students, staff and community members need to navigate conversations about race and equity.

Soho Lounge becomes fourth Sixth Street bar to face permit suspension from TABC

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has suspended the permits of 17 bars across Texas, including four on Austin’s Sixth Street, for allegedly not adhering to Gov. Greg Abbott’s mandates intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

San Marcos-Buda-Kyle

San Marcos cancels Summer Fun, Discovery camps due to increased COVID-19 cases

In response to the recent increase in new coronavirus case counts in Hays County, the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department has canceled the Summer Fun and Discovery camps.

Amy Rae Dadamo, Kelsey Thompson, Nicholas Cicale, Taylor Girtman, Evelin Garcia, Warren Brown and Jack Flagler contributed to this report.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee recommended Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine for emergency authorization use Feb. 26. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recommended for emergency authorization use by FDA

This is the third COVID-19 vaccine that has been approved for emergency authorization use after those produced by pharmaceutical company Pfizer and biotechnology company Moderna.

Josh Frank, owner of Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in for more than a decade, holds up a Blue Starlite-branded mask. (Photo by Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
Long-time Austin theater Blue-Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In takes on new life in pandemic

Drive-in theater Blue Starlite found itself in a unique position in 2020: After more than 10 years as a small business “just getting by,” demand for drive-in movies exploded, owner Josh Frank said.

The University of Texas Radio-Television-Film department will be offering virtual camps this summer. (Courtesy The University of Texas)
2021 Central Austin summer camp guide: 44 options including virtual and in-person offerings

Our list of camps happening in Austin this summer includes options focusing on academics, arts, sports and language.

Samsung's proposed $17 billion chip-making plant would dwarf other recent megaprojects that sought tax incentives in the region.
Samsung’s request to pay no property tax on $17 billion plant tests Austin’s incentive policy

Samsung is asking for 100% property tax reimbursement over 25 years, which would mark the most aggressive corporate tax break in Austin history.

A new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine could help expand vaccination availability in Travis County, according to local health officials. (Courtesy Pexels)
Johnson & Johnson vaccine could mean additional supply, easier distribution rollout in Travis County

If approved, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be a valuable weapon against the ongoing pandemic, according to local health officials.

Austin ISD students will begin the 2021-22 school year Tuesday, Aug. 17. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Take a look at Austin ISD’s newly approved calendar for the 2021-22 school year

Austin ISD trustees have approved the academic calendar for the upcoming 2021-22 school year.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

Austin ISD students are scheduled to return to classrooms March 1 for the first time since Winter Storm Uri. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Winter storm damage could prevent 10 Austin ISD campuses from reopening next week

Austin ISD students are scheduled to return to classrooms March 1 for the first time since Winter Storm Uri.

A tree's branches fell on a car in North Austin in the midst of Winter Storm Uri in February. With downed tree limbs and burst water lines causing property damage across Austin, the city has directed additional funds into programs to help some homeowners with emergency home repairs. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Still in crisis mode, Austin City Council initiates recovery following winter storm

With 200 to 400 apartment and condo complexes in Austin still without water, City Council is aiming to direct aid and relieve some of the financial burden felt by residents following the devastating winter storms.

Photo of a knife cutting through brisket
La Barbecue heads to new home on East Cesar Chavez Street

The popular barbecue joint will move to its new location in May.

Jo's Coffee opened a North Austin location in January. (Courtesy Chad Wadsworth)
Jo's Coffee opens in Central Austin; new restaurant coming to Georgetown Square and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.