Whataburger connects in Austin’s first digital kitchen
The original South Austin hotel is known for its organic atmosphere — shaded picnic tables and Adirondack chairs are scattered around the property, but the gardens and water features steal the show. There aren’t many places Austinites can work next to a waterfall, but at Cosmic, the common sight of laptops lay alongside the biodiverse pond and the adjacent chicken coop.
Cosmic Saltillo is larger and equally beautiful, with lots of artificial nooks and crannies filled with foliage. The other space appears abandoned and overgrown — in the most fantastical ways — with lily pads, climbing vines, and funky rusty exteriors. Plus, it wouldn’t be New Austin without a collection of wall murals.
Architect Clayton Corti headed up the transformation of the historic former Texaco warehouse. Maintaining seating allows Cosmic Saltillo to “fully embrace the spirit of East Austin,” Associate Sky Currie said in a statement.
“Our designs complement these existing structures by bringing a new harmonious array of spaces and forms that will serve as an ever-changing platform for both nature and art,” Currie said.
Although the buildings are old, the quirky structures and reclaimed styles give them a futuristic look.Photography by Jin Yun
Despite the new look, this location serves all the signature drinks that patrons of the original South Austin café loved, like Cosmic Comet, Liquid Sunshine, brewed coffee, or classic cocktails. Additionally, the new beverage program will offer a selection of rotating beers on tap and a variety of non-alcoholic beverages.
Another new feature is the all-day taqueria, Cosmic Tacos. Guests can choose between a Cosmic Taco, Breakfast Taco, or build their own taco, torta, or veggie bowl.
The new concept also continues Cosmic’s legacy of sustainability through water reclamation, on-site composting, and more. The two buildings on the property were renovated using reclaimed materials, and great effort was made to retain the buildings’ corrugated steel siding and metal roofs. A 30-foot tower leading to a lighted rooftop deck is another central, renovated feature of the property.
Eat your hearts out, botanical gardens everywhere.Photography by Jin Yun
Cosmic was founded by Paul Ovesi and Patrick Dean in 2017 with the goal of being a sustainability-driven enterprise for locals in South Austin. The first café and beer garden, located at 121 Bickle Road, became a certified wildlife habitat in 2020, and also features several organic food gardens on the premises.
Just like the South Austin location, Cosmic Saltillo will work to become a certified wildlife habitat.
“My partners and I set out to create an oasis from day to day, and we are so grateful to the Austin community for embracing our first location in such a strong way and now supporting us in opening Cosmic Saltillo,” said Paul Ovesi. With such a historic location, it was important to us and the neighborhood that it be preserved. I am proud of our team and partners on this project for achieving this in a truly exceptional environment. road.”
Following its opening weekend, Cosmic Saltillo will be on Wednesday, September 13, with regular hours of 8 a.m. to midnight. More information about the new location can be found at cosmichospitalitygroup.com.
Brianna Callery contributed to this article.
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