Austin’s annual South by Southwest Festival came to a close recently, and the musical and movie “discoveries” anointed by the media reporters in attendance will soon be making their way to concert venues and theaters nationwide. But to experience Passport’s favorite new Austin find, you’ll have to make your way to Texas.
Jacoby’s Restaurant and Mercantile—opened by gay couple Adam Jacoby and Kris Swift in August 2015—is likely to become a hard-to-book hub at future festivals. It’s got quirkiness and quality to spare along with a tucked away setting that makes patrons feel like they’re in on a secret.
Driving down a dusty stretch of Cesar Chavez Street on Austin’s east side, its odd to spot a small crew of parking valets standing amidst the used car lots, roadside taquerias, and weather-beaten one-story homes. But sure enough, this is the place. Behind the undistinguished painted brick façade of a former electrical supply warehouse, Jacoby’s unfolds: Pass through the warmly lit front dining room with its stunning ceiling of reclaimed barn wood to a large al fresco patio dining area, and onward to a sprawling, tree-lined bluff where guests can sip a cocktail from a mason jar while looking down on a rolling bend of the Colorado River.