The new Simply Pho House location at the Hill Country Galleria has a robot to deliver food to tables.
The restaurant, which closed its other Bee Cave location in September to move to this larger site, serves fan favorites from Vietnamese soup and noodle dishes to popular Thai and Chinese fare. Simply Pho also has locations in Marble Falls and Belterra.
Co-owner Loann Huynh said the robot, which was made by Pudu Robotics, will start on a trial basis and that she might expand to more robot servers if it goes well.
“It’s really fun if customers chose the restaurant for a birthday celebration, the robot sings “Happy Birthday” all the way from the kitchen to the table,” she said.
Huynh said she plans to expand the menu at her new site to include more vegan options, and is also considering a Dim Sum brunch on the weekends.
Beyond robotic food delivery, the Galleria is welcoming two new boutique shops this fall where customers can find clothing and accessories.
New Origin Shop, which is co-owned by siblings Sierra and Frederic Lewis, is a lifestyle store that carries everything from jewelry, home decor and kitchen implements. Much of their products are made by independent artists or Austin-area creators and brands, Sierra Lewis said.
“Customers can come in and shop wares that are handmade by artists and brands that are local, it’s the Austin area, but also spread throughout the United States,” she said. “We also highlight our makers throughout the store, you’ll find a small photo with their bio just letting you know this person made your particular item that you’re buying and we think that that’s very special and unique.”
New Origins started as a pop-up shop in the Austin area about four years ago and Lewis said she and her brother spent a lot of time setting up their new permanent space to best show off their products. She said the community should keep an eye on the shop’s social media pages because they are planning to celebrate their recent opening soon with an event.She said the community should keep an eye on the shop’s social media pages because they are planning to celebrate their opening soon after having a soft launch in late September.
Another new shop at the Galleria, Apricot Lane, opened in mid-September and offers women’s fashion and accessories.
The shop is co-owned by Tracy Byrne and her daughter, Hunter Marrs, who moved to the area to open their new business. Byrne said the hardest part was deciding where in the Austin area to settle down. She said she was attracted to Bee Cave because of its growth, and because it offers Hill Country living with easy access to a city.
“It’s a family run business, we put our heart and soul into it. We handpick every item that’s in the store,” she said. “We pride ourselves in carrying a lot of Made in the USA items, and there is actually some jewelry that we carry that’s made right here in Texas.”
Byrne said she has been thrilled with the store’s reception in the community so far, and looks to running her business for a long time to come.
“The best part is really just kind of opening up my world,” she said. “I decided to be a stay at home mom to my two daughters, and then my husband retired and I thought you know what, now it’s my turn to get out there in the world and do something again. And this is what I wanted to do.”