Sustainability, quality of food become focus for longtime Austin Mexican restaurant

From left: Ahmad Modoni, Jennifer McNevin and her husband, Greg Koury, own Manuelu2019s Mexican Restaurant in Great Hills.

From left: Ahmad Modoni, Jennifer McNevin and her husband, Greg Koury, own Manuelu2019s Mexican Restaurant in Great Hills.

Image description
Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant
Image description
Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant
Image description
Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant
Image description
Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant
For Jennifer McNevin, her interest in sustainability began after watching the “Food, Inc.” documentary on America’s food industry.

McNevin and her husband, Greg Koury, and their business partner, Ahmad Modoni, own Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant, which has locations downtown and on Jollyville Road in the Great Hills area.

Watching the documentary on how food is produced inspired McNevin to change their business practices, she said. After a year of searching for new food suppliers, Manuel’s now serves wild-caught seafood, all-natural meats free of hormones and antibiotics, non-genetically modified corn chips and other locally sourced products, she said.

“We’re interested in keeping a low carbon footprint,” McNevin said.

Manuel’s also switched to biodegradable to-go containers, recycles and composts food scraps.

The goal of these sustainability efforts, which earned Manuel’s the city’s Austin Green Business Leader designation, is to set an example to other restaurants that they can have sustainable business practices and still be profitable, McNevin said.

“You can put your values into your business,” McNevin said.

The Great Hills outpost of Manuel’s celebrates its 20th anniversary in July, and the downtown location will turn 35 later in October.

Last year’s news about redevelopment plans for the Great Hills Market center drew concern from long-time customers who thought the building would be torn down to pave the way for new apartments.

But McNevin said because Manuel’s owns the building and their ground lease extends for several more years, they are not sure yet how the restaurant will be affected by future redevelopment to add apartments and more retail space.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” McNevin said.

Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant
10201 Jollyville Road, Austin
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
By Amy Denney

Managing Editor, Austin metro

Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and later senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition as well as covering transportation in the Austin metro. She is now managing editor for the 10 publications in the Central Texas area from Georgetown to New Braunfels.


Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy. (Courtesy Canva)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Read the latest top news about restaurants, businesses and other commercial projects that are coming soon or now open

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 19.

Construction crews working on Anderson Mill Road
Crews working to put finishing touches on Anderson Mill Road improvements

Construction crews throughout the rest of October will finish paving work and update traffic markings and signals at several points along Anderson Mill Road.

Black Rock Coffee Bar's menu features Americanos, drip coffees, cold brews, specialty lattes, teas and smoothies. (Courtesy Black Rock Coffee Bar)
4 businesses coming to Cedar Park, Leander; Barton Springs Pool reopens and more Central Texas news

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

3M Company has other office parks to the north and south bordering a 5-acre property it intends to develop into office buildings. (Trent Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
American manufacturing corporation 3M Company is one step closer to adding more office space in Northwest Austin

3M Company is requesting to remove the conditional overlay from current zoning, meaning in part the corporation wants to remove a 40-foot building height requirement.

Barton Springs reopened Oct. 19 after being closed due to flooding since Oct. 14. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Barton Springs Pool reopens after flooding

The pool originally closed due to flooding Oct. 14.

Williamson County Commissioners hope to vote on a new county precinct map before the end of November. The redistricting process comes after the county saw an explosion of population growth from 2010-20, according to census numbers. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Officials look to make new Williamson County precinct map available to public in early November

Williamson County will redraw its commissioner precinct map after the county saw a 44% growth in population over the past decade.

The new STEM learning center pairs with the school's program that allows students to take Austin Community College classes for free. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Austin ISD reveals new cybersecurity learning center

The new STEM center will help students graduate with associate degrees in cybersecurity, Austin ISD officials said.

Photo of Lake Travis
Austin Water upgrades its tech to test for algae-related toxins

The city is investing in its efforts to test for toxins related to blue-green algae in its water supply.

The new H-E-B store is located on Ronald Reagan Boulevard in north Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: New H-E-B in Leander opening soon; Texas Supreme Court grants rehearing for high-speed rail eminent domain case and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 18.

Austin City Council approved dozens of spending items and rezoning requests during an Oct. 14 meeting. (Screenshot via city of Austin)
Austin City Hall notebook: Council approves measures to address flooding, homelessness, corridor changes

Flood resiliency, affordable housing and memorials took the spotlight at the Oct. 14 Austin City Council meeting.

Lakeway city council members will consider Oct. 18 rezoning acreage along Lohmans Crossing as part of a proposal to develop The Square at Lohmans. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lakeway council to consider The Square at Lohmans zoning proposal

If developed, the multiuse development would bring a new segment of Main Street.

Trustee Lynn Boswell speaks at an Oct. 14 information session of the Austin ISD board of trustees. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin ISD seeks firm to help redistricting process

As districts within AISD are redrawn, the board of trustees will get legal assistance from a firm it has not yet chosen.