AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas French Bread has slowly but surely been on its way to recovery after a fire destroyed the bakery a year and a half ago.
The Garden at Texas French Bread is now open daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to a newsletter and social media posts from the restaurant.
“Beginning today, we’ll be open 7 days a week in the TFB Garden,” the newsletter read in part. “I think our daytime breakfast & lunch service is a hidden gem — emphasis on the hidden part. A tall board-form concrete wall keeps the secret garden hidden (longer story on how that came to be for another day).”
The letter goes on to update readers about the progress of reopening the bakery’s main location.
According to the letter, Texas French Bread is “making progress and getting closer to [its] goal of resurrecting 2900 Rio Grande” and hired a group of developers who previously worked on a project in downtown Austin.
The letter also said the bakery recently finalized a design package in support of a permit application to rebuild the building “more or less exactly as it was.”
The rebuild, however, has hit a standstill due to a missed deadline for submitting a rebuild permit to the city.
Since the fire, our understanding has been that if we submitted our application as a ‘rebuild’ permit, the city would allow us to dive right in, avoiding the elaborate and time consuming process known as ‘site plan review.’ Plan review can easily take a year or even longer, and in our case would almost certainly make it near impossible to rebuild anything like the grand old building that had stood at the corner of 29th St. since the 1940s.
Well, it turns out we weren’t wrong about the permit, but unfortunately learned to our dismay that buried in all that city code, there’s provision imposing a short 12 month time limit within which to apply for the type of exemption we need. In order to meet that 12 month deadline we would have had to have the permit submitted by January of this year. Instead we spent all of last year and then some opening the commissary bakery and trying to get the TFB operation restarted. Fortunately, it does seem possible that the development office could waive the 12 month limitation – which is what we are now asking them to do.Texas French Bread