(Austin, TX) With SXSW just around the corner, the city has been bustling with a mixture of both anxiety and excitement. Counters have been polished, doors Windexed, and margarita machines have received a full refurbish. Hoping to capture a little bit of this lightning in a bottle, we wanted to highlight a few local businesses that are thriving and deserve your attention when you’re in town. What better place to start than with a staple of the incredible Austin eatery scene? The Chili’s on 45th & Lamar of course. Come on down and see why they say it’s a place like no other.
We caught up with a few of the local staff to hear what they have been doing to prepare for the big upcoming week. Responses varied, per uszh, but that’s just the way things go in this line of work.
Ashly, 34, Day Manager. “Oh I love SXSW, it’s such a treat. We get to meet people from all around the world and a lot of them leave stuff that sometimes we get to keep. I’ve honestly collected like 8 pairs of Ray Bans after they were left on a table and they are not cheap, or at least they are nice enough to get some good resale value on Ebay. So yeah, I’m excited to see if I get some more cool stuff.”
Marie, 21, Waiter. “This is my Spring Break dude, of course I don’t want to be here and I’m definitely not excited about anything involving SXSW. Well, I might go to a couple of shows, but only if Devin can cover my shift. Shit, I need to ask him about that. Sorry, DEVIN!”
Devin, 41, Host. “Damnit Marie. Ok, sorry, what was the question? Oh, South By is the same thing every year. It’s so boring and bland and this is my 21st one. And now, thanks to SOMEONE I am going to be working even more of it. You know SOME OF US like Lizzo just as much as others, Marie. Just saying.”
Gus, ???, Night Manage. “Yeah those two are always fighting about something, I’m not sure what’s going on. Anyway, to answer your question, I love nothing more than a bunch of out-of-towners using company cards to treat themselves to a big ol’ quesadilla explosion salad. It literally gives me life and sustains me until ACL and then the clock starts ticking again and again and life goes on but what are you going to do? It just goes.”
Gordo, 51 Head Chef. “I am working my butt off back here guy and for what? This place is a joke. I used to work at a Chili’s in Denver and they knew what they were doing. Here? I can’t experiment, I can’t actually cook anymore, I just follow the script and every time I make something with explosion or Tex-mex in the title, I feel my soul die. Excited to see Lizzo though, she’s a total queen.”
Like we said, mixed.
This article was written by Nathan Ellwood, the dude who solve the raccoon crisis of ’05. Follow him @NPEllwood.