Loyal patrons of the Austin culinary arts scene are no doubt already familiar with Bridget Dunlap. A true connoisseur of the restaurant industry, she first made a name for herself in Texas’ live music capital by developing and opening several bars located in the entertainment district on Rainey Street. Since then, she’s gone on to open Mettle, a local bistro which has become a favorite of many foodies in the area. According to the Austin American-Statesman, she and her husband Chris Parker will soon own nearly ten restaurants and bars through their hospitality company Dunlap ATX. While they already own and operate an entire host of bars, the two have several exciting openings slated for Austin over the next year. Check out a few of the concepts that Dunlap has up her sleeve as she moves forward with her career:
Nuns and Lovers
While it may sound more like the name of a phenomenal hair-metal band, Nuns and Lovers is actually the next concept that Bridget Dunlap will deliver to Austin. According to Austin360, the restaurant will blend traditional Italian fare with casual dining, making it a perfect destination for families seeking a night out of the house. The restaurant will be located at the corner of Chicon and East Sixth Street. As a career restaurateur, Dunlap is no stranger to dealing with unforeseen snags in the process of opening a new venue. In fact, that’s exactly what happened with Nuns and Lovers. She initially intended to have the kitchen run by Andrew Francisco, a chef at Mettle bistro, but he left not long ago to take on a role at Gardner, a new restaurant from the owners of Contigo. In speaking with Austin 360, Dunlap reiterated her excitement for the new restaurant:
“We’re excited to be bringing a budget-friendly Italian restaurant to East Sixth,” said Dunlap. “Pizzas, pastas, wine…it’ll be so simple, but so good.”
In a move that will serve as a sort of homecoming for Dunlap, the restaurant and entertainment tycoon has revealed plans to open two locations of Lustre Pearl. The bar, which was Dunlap’s first venture into the Austin culinary scene, shut down in spring 2014 after establishing itself as one of the premiere nightlife destinations in the city. The bar was closed, despite considerable longstanding commercial success, to make room for the development of a new condominium complex. According to Austin CultureMap, it’s set for a reopening in two locations. Not only will Dunlap be reopening the bar in a different location on Rainey Street, but she and Dunlap ATX will also be opening a second location of Lustre Pearl in East Austin at a venue yet to be disclosed. While unconfirmed, there has been speculation that Dunlap may actually try to remove the original structure that housed the first Lustre Pearl location, built in 1895, and move it to the new Rainey Street location. Already having established a loyal following of bar patrons, Lustre Pearl is set to be a huge success when reopened.