Thursday, June 28, 2012

‘ACL’ Producers and Restaurant Freedom Partners to Open Lickona’s in Austin City Hall

The downtown building that houses City Hall is about to become home to Austin’s latest hot spot for live music, food and drinks, thanks to one of the city’s most beloved personalities. Terry Lickona, executive producer of the award-winning and nationally renowned PBS music series “Austin City Limits” and recent chairman of the Grammy Awards, and fellow “ACL” producer Jeff Peterson are joining forces with Rick Engel and Mark Turner, the founders of Restaurant Freedom, to open a new dining and music destination called Lickona’s. Located in the heart of the 2nd Street District at 301 W. Second St. (aka Willie Nelson Boulevard) where Austin Java currently sits, Lickona’s will serve up a variety of regional Texas, Southern and Gulf Coast cuisine, bar specialties and quality entertainment that will enhance Austin’s reputation as the Live Music Capital of the World.
 Paying homage to Terry Lickona’s longstanding experience for recognizing musical talent, Lickona’s will showcase a diverse mix of original musicians and bands from throughout the Austin area and beyond, including special theme nights and artists in residence. The casual atmosphere will emphasizeLickona’s and Peterson’s personal Austin music history, with photographs, posters and artifacts from their own collections. A state-of-the-art sound system and stage lighting will be installed, with acoustics optimized for live music, ensuring only the best quality experience for the fan. Sound-mitigating systems will also be designed to minimize sound leakage into City Hall spaces. Outside, Lickona’s guests can kick back on the expansive covered patio and enjoy the city’s best people watching while sipping their beverage of choice, eating something delicious from the menu and listening to some of Austin’s finest musicians.
 A self-proclaimed foodie and a former director of the Austin chapter of Les Amis du Vin, Lickona is drawing from his passion for good food to create a unique and appealing menu for his new eatery. Lickona’s will also rely on the expertise of Restaurant Freedom’s Engel and Turner, who have delighted Austin with such concepts as Little Woodrow’s, Uncle Billy’s,Austin Java, Austin Chill, Texadelphia and Ski Shores Café. The menu at Lickona’s will be designed to be as eclectic and innovative as Austin itself. Building on the regional Texas, Southern and Gulf Coast concept, offerings will include fresh-shucked raw, chargrilled and fried oysters, appetizers such as quesadillas and crawfish pico, fresh salads, a variety of po boys, burgers and sandwiches, gumbo, jambalaya and étoufée, enchiladas, fried chicken and barbecue shrimp, collard greens, mac and cheese, red beans and rice, and Belgian fries, as well as breakfast tacos, chicken and waffles and other breakfast favorites. Daily menu specials will also be featured, such as trout almondine, stuffed flounder, pork chops, and duck and Andouille gumbo. The bar will offer an affordable list of margaritas, handcrafted cocktails, wine and several local craft beers on tap.    
 Currently in the planning stages, Lickona’s will be a one-of-a-kind restaurant and bar featuring live music with a casual Austin vibe. The restaurant and venue will be located at 301 W. Second St., adjacent to Austin City Hall. For more information about Lickona’s, please call (512) 804-0326, or visit

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