Austin's Classic Late-Night Eatery

Welcome to day five of my blog tour “Travels to Austin: A Trip Back in Time.” I'm celebrating the upcoming release of my fourth Sydney Lockhart mystery, Murder at the Driskill (Austin, Texas) by writing about famous, infamous, and legendary locales in Texas’ state capital whose promo campaign is “Keep Austin Weird.” At the end of the tour, I’ll give away a signed copy of the book. To be eligible, leave a comment on each blog.

Today’s blog features Austin’s Night Hawk Restaurant.
Do you remember when a hamburger cost fifteen cents? Unless you were old enough to order your own meal during the 1930s, probably not. Entrepreneur Harry Akin opened the Night Hawk Restaurant in Austin, Texas in 1932—a gutsy move during the Depression. To maximize his earnings in those difficult times, he always kept the restaurant open late. The strategy worked and his business grew. After enlarging the establishment from its original two booths and eight-seat counter, the Night Hawk became a place for businessmen and politicians to meet and cut deals outside normal office hours. Akin soon opened several more restaurants throughout the city, and the Night Hawk Chain was formed.
The original restaurant closed in 1989, but the Frisco Shop Night Hawk Restaurant on South Congress is still in operation. The décor can best be described as “fancy diner.” Famous for its Frisco Burger, pies, friendly service (many employees have worked their for years), locales consider the eatery an Austin institution.
I gave the old place a mention in Murder at the Driskill. After an exhausting week and a close encounter with a bullet, Sydney and Dixon had planned to relax at her apartment and recount those harrowing events; instead, a romantic interlude ensued complete with watery martinis, hunger pangs, and the need for late night grub at the Night Hawk. Have a look.
            We were on our way to fully understanding the severity of our distractions. The ice in the martini pitcher had melted and Mealworm had deposited another rather large quantity of cat hair on Dixon’s jacket, when a low rumble traveled through the room, interrupting any further distractions.
            “Is that your dog snoring or your stomach growling?” Dixon asked.
            “It’s me. Most men take their dates out to dinner first,” I said.
            “I didn’t hear you complaining.” He smiled. “Let’s go. Steaks at the Night Hawk?”
Check out Night Hawk’s menu and learn more about the restaurant’s colorful history.
Visit the precious blog links:
11/24/ Condo Douglas kicked off my blog tour at:
11/25 Next you’ll find me at Lois Winston’s blog:
11/26 Look for me at Cyndi Pauwel’s blog CP at Large:
11/28 Visit me at Helena Fairfax’s blog at:
11/30 Tomorrow I’ll be at Sheila Webster Boneham’s place Sheila Writes:
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Now here’s a taste of Murder at the Driskill.
You’d think that newspaper reporter Sydney Lockhart, comfortable at home in Austin, Texas, could stay away from hotels and murders therein. But when she and her detective boyfriend, Ralph Dixon, hang out a shingle for their new detective agency, they immediately land a high-profile case, which sends them to the swanky Driskill Hotel. Businessman Stringer Maynard has invited them to a party to meet his partner/brother-in-law, Leland Tatum, who’s about to announce his candidacy for governor. Maynard needs their help because Tatum is hanging out with the wrong crowd and jeopardizing his chances for winning the election. Before Sydney can finish her first martini, a gunshot sounds and Leland Tatum is found murdered in a suite down the hall.
Kathleen Kaska writes the award-winning Sydney Lockhart mysteries. Her first two books Murder at the Arlington and Murder at the Luther, were selected as bonus-books for the Pulpwood Queens Book Group, the largest book group in the country. Kaska also writes the Classic Triviography Mystery Series. Her Alfred Hitchcock and the Sherlock Holmes trivia books were finalists for the 2013 EPIC award in nonfiction. Her nonfiction book, The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story (University Press of Florida) was published in 2012.
Ready to pick up Murder at the Driskall?