New Austin airport restaurants named after 'impossible' City Council decision

Local favorites 24 Diner and Parkside Restaurant earned spots in the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s upcoming expanded terminal, edging out classic Austin institutions Threadgill’s and Black’s BBQ in a Thursday decision City Council members called one of their toughest.

As part of the proposal, food court versions of Torchy’s Tacos, Noble Sandwich Co., Austin Beerworks, Hardie’s Fresh Foods and Sushi A-Go-Go will join the restaurants in the new nine-gate terminal expansion. Starbucks also earned coffee duties in the expanded terminal.

The winning bid—submitted by HMS Host and D.C. Garrett—scored 0.26 points higher than the bid that proposed Threadgill’s and Black’s BBQ as the new airport tenants—submitted by Paradies. Threadgill’s owner Eddie Wilson and Black’s BBQ owner Kent Black, citing decades of service to the city, attempted to make their case as to why council should overlook the 0.26-point difference and award them the contract.

Wilson said an opportunity to operate an airport location would be crucial for him to keep up with skyrocketing land costs.

Although the decision to put 24 Diner and Parkside in the airport was unanimous, council members said the decision was among the most difficult the city tasked them with making. Mayor Steve Adler initially threw his support behind Threadgill’s and Black’s BBQ in what he called an “impossible choice.”

“This is a really, really, really hard call for me,” Mayor Steve Adler said. “To me, while so many things are changing in this city, there are opportunities to try to hold on some things that are part of our culture that are endangered.”

District 5 Council Member Ann Kitchen also called the choice “impossible” but criticized the city’s procurement process. Procurement is the process of soliciting bids for a project and evaluating the proposals.

District 6 Council Member Jimmy Flannigan said the city’s procurement processes should not end in political debates.

“If you set out a process for the public and vendors in how you’re going to select a vendor, you should finish that process to the end,” Flannigan said. “As a council if we don’t think that process is working then we should change the process.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate or right to be changing vendors at the last second even if the scores are close.”

According to city documents, the airport’s terminal expansion is scheduled for completion by 2019. Garrett said the restaurants will be “ready to go on day one.”
By Christopher Neely
Christopher Neely is Community Impact's Austin City Hall reporter. A New Jersey native, Christopher moved to Austin in 2016 following years of community reporting along the Jersey Shore. His bylines have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, USA Today and several other local outlets along the east coast.


MOST RECENT

Online retailer Wayfair will open a new engineering office in Austin later this year or in early 2022. (Courtesy Wayfair)
Wayfair bringing new engineering office to Austin; beauty studio celebrates opening and more South Austin business news

Wayfair has not yet finalized a space for its new office, but job postings list Southeast Austin as a location.

As part of President Joe Biden’s plan to reopen schools safely nationwide, the department’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option is being expanded beyond the summertime. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
USDA extends free school meals provision through 2021-22 school year

Schools nationwide will be able to serve nutritious meals to all students free of charge regardless of eligibility through June 30, 2022, officials announced.

Austin government, nonprofit and business leaders recently participated in a weeks-long summit centered on unsheltered homelessness in the city. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plan to house 3,000 homeless individuals in Austin in the next three years would cost $515 million

The plan Austin City Council members discussed April 20 emerged from a weekslong community-wide summit on homelessness.

Photo of Zilker Park
Travis County establishes Civilian Climate Corps to tackle environmental projects

The program will create opportunities for residents to work on projects including wildfire prevention, solar energy promotion and park cleanups.

Residents march to the Texas Capitol in protests after the killing of George Floyd in May 2020. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Austin leaders react to Derek Chauvin guilty verdict

The former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter for the killing of George Floyd in May 2020.

At an in-person information session at the Austin Community College Pinnacle campus April 17, Colorado River Constructors spokesperson Laurie Simmons said the campus is the company’s preferred choice for a batch concrete plant. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
'No toxic batch plant': Southwest Austin residents protest proposed Pinnacle site for Oak Hill Parkway concrete production

Colorado River Constructors officials said the ACC Pinnacle site would be the safest and least impactful to local residents.

Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard speaks to reporters March 13 at the Delco Actiity Center in Northeast Austin. Residents can walk up to the Delco Center on April 22 and 23 and receive vaccines without an appointment. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Public Health will accept walk-up vaccinations at the Delco Activity Center starting April 22

APH will also leave its registration portal open throughout most of the week.

Early voting for the May 1 election runs April 19-27. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Hays County reports 500 votes in first day of early voting

Education-related election items in Hays County include $443.5 million in bonds as well as city council positions, school board seats and municipal utility district directors.

Early voting for Travis County's May 1 local elections opened April 19. In this file photo, voters line up ahead of the 2020 primary elections at Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex in East Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
More than 8,000 Travis County voters cast ballots on first day of early voting

Early voting for the county's May 1 election began April 19 and will run through April 27.

The Delco Activity Center in Northeast Austin is one of the locations where residents can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. (Jack Flalger/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin vaccine updates: Demand slows as state begins marketing push

Appointments are beginning to go unfilled, and local health officials say demand has caught up to supply. All adults in the U.S. are now eligible to be vaccinated.

Blue Corn Harvest Leander is located at 11840 Hero Way W., Bldg. A, Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Blue Corn Harvest opens in Leander; park, pizzeria launches social club and more Central Texas news

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

Photo of two performers on an outdoor SXSW stage
South by Southwest sells ownership stake in company to Rolling Stone owner Penske Media Corp.

SXSW leadership called the sale a "lifeline" for the conference and festivals.