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Southside BBQ expands to northwest Austin

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    This building, suite B-225 in The Shops at Arbor Walk in north Austin, is the planned location for another Southside Market & BBQ. Photo by Julianne Hodges

A longtime Elgin institution is making its way to the big city later this year.

Famous Elgin barbecue restaurant Southside Market & Barbeque announced on Friday that the company will open another location, this time in north Austin.

Southside originated in downtown Elgin in 1882, founded by William J. Moon, who sold meat from a horse-drawn wagon, according to a press release from Southside announcing the Austin location. Due to a lack of refrigeration, Moon would make smoked sausage and barbeque out of whatever meat was left over, and four years later, he opened his first restaurant. In 1968, Ernest Sr. and Adrene Bracewell bought the business, and their grandson, third-generation pit-master Bryan Bracewell, and his wife Rachel own and operate Southside.

In 2014, Southside opened another restaurant in Bastrop on Highway 71. Another location is planned for the Co-Op District in Hutto, which was previously slated to begin business this year, but is now set to open in the second quarter of 2020, according to another press release from Friday.

This location is planned for The Shops at Arbor Walk shopping center on the Mopac Expressway. The new restaurant would be at 10515 North Mopac, Suite B-225, near Mighty Fine Burgers and across the parking lot from Skechers. According to the press release, this new location will be open seven days a week, offer the same menu and include a meat market.

“Rachel and I are so pleased to make this announcement,” Brace-well said in the press release. “We are sincerely thankful for our wonderful team of great folks who work hard daily to deliver top quality central Texas BBQ and great customer service with Texas friendly hospitality. We look forward to meeting our new neighbors in Austin this fall.”

The Austin location is projected to open in the fourth quarter of this year.

Southside has also expanded closer to home: this year, the Elgin location added a drive-through and changed its parking lot, with plans to make improvements to U.S. Highway 290 near the restaurant.

In March, Southside came to the Elgin City Council to request a variance to allow for an updated sign advertising their new drive-through. The Bastrop location also has a drive-through, which Bracewell told the council in March accounts for a third of that location’s sales. He added they expect the drive-through in Elgin will increase revenue to the store from 10 to 15 percent and add 10 new full-time jobs.

The council approved adding the new 45-square-foot drive-through sign to the existing Southside sign pole. The drive-through sign was part of a master sign plan for a new development located in what was once Southside’s parking lot on the corner of Highway 290 and Saratoga Farms Boulevard. Southside recently built a new parking lot on the other side of the restaurant. A QuikTrip convenience store is now planned for the lot.

Then, in April, a Chapter 380 Economic Development Agreement was approved between Southside and the City of Elgin. Named after the chapter of the Texas Local Government Code from which it comes, a Chapter 380 agreement allows municipal governments to offer incentives designed to promote economic development. This agreement will reimburse Southside up to $115,000 for the construction of a new westbound deceleration lane on Highway 290.

The lane would help westbound traffic turn left into Southside’s new parking lot, which will be constructed on the east side of the building. Southside will play for the construction of the deceleration lane and be reimbursed by the city $28,750 per year for four years as an incentive for building the lane, according to the agreement.