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Photo by Jeff Solomon

Aaron Lyons, founder of Houston-based Dish Society, is heading back to Austin. His popular restaurant, which has grown to four locations in the Greater Houston area and two locations of an elevated sister brand, Daily Gather, is slated to open to Austin's Mueller development this fall.

Lyons has the full Austin resume, not only growing up here but attending the University of Texas at Austin for undergrad and returning to earn his MBA at the McCombs School of Business. There, he developed a business plan for his ultimate all-day café. The result was Dish Society, opened in Houston in 2014 with a goal to make fresh, locally-sourced dining more accessible.

Nine years later, he'll open his Austin restaurant located at 1900 Aldrich Blvd., #130 in fall 2023. True to the group's signature farm-to-table menus, the new location will serve brunch all day, lunch, social hour, and dinner; all are offered seven days a week via counter service or full-service at the bar.

Celebrated Houston chef Brandi Key leads the menu, which will shift seasonally while focusing on modern American favorites made from locally-sourced ingredients. In fact, 75 percent of the menu will come from Texas purveyors, with signature dishes like a smoked brisket-stuffed sweet potato, Brussels sprouts super salad, fried chicken and biscuits, shrimp and grits, and Nutella French toast. Vibrant seasonal grain bowls, salads, sandwiches, and signature sides round out the menu, along with the customizable farmer’s plate in a protein-and-two-sides format.

Local firm Chioco Design will design the space to echo the airy, modern atmosphere of the brand's Houston counterparts while incorporating custom local details. Features will include elements of exposed concrete, natural light, warm wood tones, mixed tilework, and lush greenery, plus a refresh of the brand's canary yellow for a more buttery hue and complementary dusty blue and white accents. Garage and street parking will be available with designated spots for curbside pickup, plus a walkup window for coffee and breakfast tacos.

"Austin is a natural second market for us,” says Lyons in a release. “It’s my hometown and that of my business partner Trent Patterson, who I met at UT. My family still lives in Austin, so I’m in town all the time. I also have a ton of friends who’ve been asking me to open here, so it’s really cool to come home.”

According to the release, Lyons intended to open in Austin a decade ago, and his restaurant group, Five 12 Restaurant Concepts, was named in tribute to Austin’s 512 area code. The Austin expansion marks a new era of growth for the brand, which plans to enter more Texas markets in the coming years, as well as a new location at Houston's William P. Hobby Airport in 2025.

“Ultimately, the demand for what we do, coupled with Austin’s amazing food scene and its growth and proximity to our existing infrastructure, all make sense for our next move. Our ability to successfully operate all day while providing chef-driven, locally sourced food, a thoughtfully crafted beverage program, and a level of hospitality and service not commonly found at our price point make us unique in many ways.”

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Alex Bregman drops Breggy Bomb and epic blast as Astros clinch 6th Al West title

count it

In what’s now becoming an H-Town fall rite of passage, the Houston Astros have just clinched their sixth American League West Division title in the past seven seasons on Sunday, October 1. The Stros cemented the title with a big, 8-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

Also keeping things official: On Sunday, the Seattle Mariners bested the Texas Rangers 1-0, ensuring the Astros’ top-line status.

Superstar Alex Bregman, who is quickly rising to legend status in Houston, handed the D-Backs a Breggy Bomb, and handed fans a bomb line that may just become this year’s Astros rally:

“A lot of people were wondering what it was gonna be like if the Stros didn’t win the division,” Bregman told his teammates in the clubhouse after the win, goggles on and Dom Pérignon in hand in a video captured by KPRC Channel 2 sports reporter Ari Alexander.

And then: “I guess we’ll never know.” Amazing.



The Astros clubhouse exploded in yells and sprays of Champagne as the normally steely eyed, understated Bregman (who is becoming a quiet comedy star via recent H-E-B commercials) hopped up and down with his guys.

Sunday’s win marks 12 division titles, 17 playoff berths in franchise history, and a franchise record seventh consecutive season heading to the playoffs in a row (2017-2023). The Astros have also won the AL West the last three consecutive seasons (2017-19, 2021-23) in six overall division titles.

As for the manager Dusty Baker, who’s been the topic of debate among talking heads and fans, this win marks his fourth consecutive postseason bids with the Astrios. Baker is now the first manager in MLB history to win division titles with five different clubs (Astros, Nationals, Reds, Cubs, and Giants), with 10 division titles under his belt.

He also boasts a promising 28-14 record in the postseason with the Astros, good news as the team looks ahead.

Nailing six straight ALCS titles (2017-2022) is a historic feat for our Houston Astros, the first American League team to do so. Only the 1991-99 Atlanta Braves, during a dominant sweep, accomplished such a feat in Major League Baseball.

It’s never too early in Houston to talk World Series, so a quick reminder that the Stros have headed to the championships four of the last six seasons (2017, 2019, 2021, and 2022). We all remember the unforgettable World Series titles in ’17, our first, and ’22, our most recent.

To celebrate the next run, fans can head to the Astros Center Field Team Store, which will remain open for a 24-hour event from Sunday, October 1 through 7 pm Monday, October 2. Fans can stock up on gear and look forward to visits from the Shooting Stars (10 am – 11 am and 5 pm – 6 pm) and Orbit (noon – 1 pm). Monday shoppers can score free coffee and pastries as they grab gear.

Meanwhile, the Center Field Team Store will have expanded Postseason hours beginning this week and running until the conclusion of the postseason: 9 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday and 9 am – 2 pm on Saturdays.

Charming Houston town's top rank in nation for families leads week's hottest headlines

this week's hot headlines

Editor's note: It's time to recap the top stories on CultureMap from this past week.

1. Charming Houston community named No. 12 most family-friendly U.S. city. The "Family-Friendly Cities" list focuses on local communities that offer plenty of recreational outdoor activities.

2. Houston's favorite outdoor concert venue ranks No. 1 in the world in new list. The venue had more million-dollar box office grosses this year than ever.

3. Where to eat in Houston right now: 9 best new restaurants proving our pizza town cred. The new arrivals enhance Houston's dynamic pizza scene.

4.Beyoncé reigns supreme with Megan Thee Stallion cameo in jaw-dropping Houston Renaissance Tour opening night. Our review recaps Beyoncé's breathtaking homecoming celebration, from jaw-dropping visuals, to Megan's surprise appearance.

5.Countdown to Beyoncé: Parking, closures, rideshares, and more for NRG Stadium. We mapped all the ways to get to NRG Stadium for last weekend's epic shows.

Rock icon Bono's daughter makes her own sweet music in Flora and Son

in bloom

The new Apple TV+ film Flora and Son centers on a single mother and her teenage son, a situation that typically calls for an uplifting story about the mother’s struggles trying to support the two of them, and the bond that develops between them as go through the troubles together. While that element exists somewhat here, it goes down a much different path that’s both saltier and equally as rewarding.

Eve Hewson and Oren Kinlan in Flora and Son

Photo courtesy of Apple TV+

Eve Hewson and Oren Kinlan in Flora and Son.

Set in Dublin, Ireland, the film follows Flora (Eve Hewson), a single mom to Max (Oren Kinlan), who gets in a fair bit of trouble. She shares custody with her ex, Ian (Jack Reynor), and their antagonistic relationship, along with Max being a teenager, likely has an effect on how Flora and Max get along. A typical interchange between mother and son has them calling each other all sorts of bad names, although there rarely seems to be any true animosity behind their arguments.

When a guitar Flora refurbishes for Max goes unappreciated, she instead starts taking online lessons herself with an American named Jeff (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). She’s no less brash with him, but her sincere interest in learning how to play and in finding out more about Jeff’s music opens a new door for Flora. Soon, a discovery that Max is making music of his own on his laptop helps them communicate better than they have in a long time.

Flora & Son is the latest music-focused film from writer/director John Carney (Once, Sing Street), and he once again finds the sweet spot in telling a personal story enhanced by song. Flora has more than a few rough edges, making her a less-than-ideal protagonist, but the heart of the character shines through precisely because she has no filter. Once music is added to the equation, it become that much easier to see the type of person she is and why you should root for her.

Both Hewson and Gordon-Levitt are charming actors, so they establish a connection through a screen well. Fortunately, though, Carney chooses not to leave it at that, adding a slight fantasy element to some of their scenes by having Flora imagine Jeff in the room with her. A romantic element naturally arises, but it’s the unexpected way in which two lonely souls find each other from across the world that makes them the most interesting.

There are a couple of decent songs that come out of the process of all of the music-making, but nothing that you could truly call an earworm. Instead, it’s the feeling you get seeing the characters interact when they’re sharing music with each other that makes the film sing. Only one character could be classified as a professional musician, with the rest of them making music for the pure joy of it, an emotion Carney translates well in his storytelling.

Hewson (the daughter of U2’s Bono, in case you were unaware) is having a moment after 15 years in the business. She has a boldness that serves her as well in this role as it did in the recent Apple TV+ limited series, Bad Sisters. This is Kinlan’s first major part, and he acquits himself well. Both Gordon-Levitt and Reynor are seasoned actors who know how to make the most of their limited scenes.

The depiction of a mother/child relationship in Flora and Son is atypical, but it still winds up in a great spot thanks to the power of music and some fine performances. Carney’s love for both songs and filmmaking has yielded some memorable movies over the years, this one included.

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Flora and Son opens in select theaters and on Apple TV+ on September 29.