Santa Rita Tex-Mex Cantina shutters, an update on the opening of Vincent's Sports Pub and 3 more things for South Austinites to know this week

Santa Rita Tex Mex Cantina on Slaughter Lane appears to have closed. Its owner declined to confirm whether the restaurant will reopen.

Santa Rita Tex Mex Cantina on Slaughter Lane appears to have closed. Its owner declined to confirm whether the restaurant will reopen.

The business landscape is shifting in South Austin, with one Tex-Mex eatery leaving and another moving in. Here's a few more things to know this week.

Meet the contractor who will oversee improvements to MoPac at Slaughter Lane and La Crosse Avenue
On Friday, Jan. 12, residents will have a chance to meet the contractor who will improve MoPac at the intersections of Slaughter Lane and LaCrosse Avenue.

TxDOT invites the public to visit with team members from Webber, the group hired for construction, to learn more about the project. Work on the project is scheduled to begin this month.

The informal gathering will take place at the Circle C Community Center located at 7817 La Crosse Ave., Austin, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 12. Residents are encouraged to stop by at their convenience.

We Are Blood in critical need of Type O blood
We Are Blood is experiencing a critical blood shortage and is in need of donations, especially blood types O and O-negative, according to organization officials.

A recent press released stated donations during the holiday season were lower than anticipated, placing the Central Texas blood supply at a “dangerously low” level. Over 40 hospitals and medical facilities in a 10-county area depend on the supply of blood provided by We Are Blood. Donations are being accepted at any of the three We Are Blood physical locations or at various mobile drives.


Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden opens today on South Congress Avenue
Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden will open today, Jan. 8, at 121 Pickle Road, Austin.

The coffee and craft cocktail bar will be housed on an acre of green space and will feature a certified wildlife habitat, an herb and vegetable garden and a chicken coop.

Santa Rita Tex-Mex Cantina on Slaughter Lane appears to be closed
Santa Rita Tex-Mex Cantina South, located at 5900 Slaughter Lane, Ste. 550, Austin, closed Dec. 24, according to a manager, and does not appear to have reopened since. The owner declined to comment or confirm whether the restaurant is closed permanently. Torchy’s Tacos has confirmed plans to open a location in the same building.

Vocal neighborhood and environmental attorney enters race for Austin's District 8 City Council seat
Bobby Levinski, an environmental and neighborhood organization attorney who has been vocal in the CodeNEXT debates, officially filed for candidacy in Austin’s District 8 City Council seat race last week.

Levinski currently works as a staff attorney for the environmental nonprofit organization Save our Springs Alliance, where he has been vocal on issues such as CodeNEXT—the rewrite of the city’s land development code—and the possibility of Dripping Springs effluent discharge into Onion Creek.

Levinski joins Paige Ellis and Christopher Sexton as filed challengers for the District 8 City Council seat, currently held by Ellen Troxclair.

Permitting woes lead to 6-month delay in Vincent's Sports Pub opening
Vincent’s Sports Pub, the latest project from the owners of Moontower Saloon, has been pushed back until May due to city of Austin permitting delays, according to owner Josh Bumb. Once completed, the 2,499-square-foot pub, located in the Brodie Marketplace at 8916 Brodie Lane, Austin, will feature leather and wood accents, a large outdoor patio, Americana-style food and several TVs for patrons to enjoy sporting events.

By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


The Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees met Oct. 25 and discussed the possibility of approving a bonus for all district employees. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dripping Springs ISD considers approving bonuses for all district employees

With staffing shortages persistent, the district is considering upping its annual bonus amount from last year's $500 lump sum payments.

The new Oak Hill H-E-B is scheduled to open Oct. 27. (Courtesy of H-E-B)
New Oak Hill H-E-B in Southwest Austin opening on schedule

The 90,000-square-foot space will open a mile west of the old Oak Hill store.

The plan calls for traffic control methods to make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. (Courtesy Living Streets)
Austin City Council paves way for more play, exercise on neighborhood streets

The program aims to make it safer to use neighborhood streets for community events.

New statewide maps will go into effect Jan. 18, 2022. (Community Impact Newspaper Staff)
Gov. Abbott approves new voting maps for state legislature, Congress, school districts for next decade

The maps will go into effect Jan. 18, 2022, after the state legislature passed them during a 30-day special session.

The committee will provide input on Capital Metro's expanded public safety department to the transit agency's board of directors.  (Courtesy Capital Metro)
Capital Metro board approves charter for public safety advisory committee

The approval comes after the establishment of a transit police force met resistance during the August meeting.

Through Project Connect, Capital Metro will add three new MetroRapid bus lines and an extension to the existing 803 route. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Capital Metro moves forward with $50 million in funding for MetroRapid bus infrastructure projects

The vote to approve the funding raised questions around how authority is divided between the city of Austin, Capital Metro and the Austin Transit Partnership.

The statewide job fair will connect veterans to employers as well as other resource providers. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Statewide job fair aims to connect Texas veterans and their families to employers

The job fair is coming to local Texas Workforce Solutions offices, some of which are having early admission for veterans and their families.

Teso Life currently has a location in Carrollton near another 99 Ranch Market and other Asian businesses and restaurants. (Matt Payne/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Japanese department store Teso Life coming to Frisco; New Braunfels’ Gruene Hall set as backdrop for Scotty McCreery music video 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. 25.

The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter is set to begin renovations Oct. 25. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter to begin renovations

City Council approved $240,000 for renovations to the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter.

Child on a computer.
Texas Education Agency accepting applications for $1,500 grants for students in special education

To be eligible for the grant, students must be enrolled in pre-K through 12th grade in a Texas public school and served by a special education program.

Fitness studio Body20 is coming soon to Bee Cave's Hill Country Galleria. (Courtesy Giant Noise Public Relations)
New fitness studio, candy pop-up shop coming to Hill Country Galleria

A new candy pop-up shop and fitness studio are coming to Bee Cave's Hill Country Galleria.