Nerding out about a cookbook cafe at the new library downtown

I was super excited to see the news this week that the new library downtown will have a cookbook-themed cafe from the restaurant group that runs Easy Tiger and 24 Diner.

We’ve known that there will be an eatery in the library for a few years now, but it was unclear who would run it. Apparently, no other restaurant groups officially bid on the project. (Side note: I think we could interpret this as a sign of a less risk-averse restaurant industry at the moment. The city’s first serious food-library partnership is an unproven concept, but I’m genuinely surprised that more restaurants didn’t want to take on that risk.)

Heidi Tse, project coordinator for Austin Public Library facilities services, recently tours the screened-in porch of Austin’s new Central Library, set for completion in the spring of 2017. The library will include a restaurant that will feature recipes from cookbooks available for checkout at the library. Ralph Barrera / American-Statesman

Heidi Tse, project coordinator for Austin Public Library facilities services, recently tours the screened-in porch of Austin’s new Central Library, set for completion in the spring of 2017. The library will include a restaurant that will feature recipes from cookbooks available for checkout at the library. Ralph Barrera / American-Statesman

The city received some inquiries, but it was the Easy Tiger/24 Diner/Italic/Irene’s team that came up with a cookbook cafe concept that — here’s where the fun really starts for me — “will have a changing menu compiled directly from cookbooks available for library checkout,” said Lauraine Rizer, Austin’s officer of real estate services.

broadcity

I mean, seriously. Can you imagine ordering an Ottolenghi dish and loving it so much that you check out the cookbook it came from? The cafe will certainly become a place for food-related book clubs to meet or local cookbook authors to host their events.

It’s a small thing, I know, but I am ridiculously excited about this creative new culinary space if only because it will put cookbooks in a different kind of light.

What do you think about this cookbook cafe idea? Which cookbooks or authors would you love to see featured?

 


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