MA Partners, the developer of the new Co-Op District under construction at the historic Gin property on U.S. Highway 79 in Hutto, has added another significant restaurant partner to its highly anticipated 35-acre mixed-use destination, and its one that brings with it worldwide recognition from food and film fans alike.
After announcing Southside Market, the oldest, continuously operating barbeque establishment in the United States, as its first restaurant tenant in 2018, the Co-Op District now welcomes iconic Top Notch Burgers, a regular on Austin’s “Best of” lists, to Hutto. The restaurant, which anticipates opening its doors in early 2020, is well known for its award-winning, drive-in diner-style cuisine, and equally beloved for its role in the coming-of-age cult hit, “Dazed and Confused.”
Top Notch opened its doors in 1971 and is currently owned by Jay Bunda, Chris Courtney and Kelly Chappell, who also own and operate the highly regarded Galaxy Café and Zocalo Café dining venues. Top Notch incorporates secret family recipes from the burger joint’s original owners into its menu items, including charcoal grilled burgers, fried chicken and hand-battered onion rings.
Top Notch has earned a very loyal fanbase thanks to its simple yet exceptional menu, which has led to accolades from the Austin American-Statesman, Austin Chronicle, KVUE-TV, Eater and Thrillist, to name a few. Because of its authentic Austin notoriety, the restaurant is often sought after as a filming location, having been featured in movies, commercials, music videos and magazines.
“Frances Stanish, one of the original owners, shared with me that she had always hoped for a second location,” said Chappell. “The dream for expansion came to fruition when the right location came along, and we love the idea of expanding to the Hutto community.
The owners of Top Notch are adamant about recreating as many iconic details as possible with the new Hutto location. Guests will be greeted by the unmistakable classic signage and car hop stations, and the building itself will include as many of the same designs and materials as possible. Most importantly, the menu will include all of the current customer favorites and possibly a few new items from its secret menu. As Top Notch has proven over the past 48 years, it will always continue to look for ways to extend its customer reach and maintain its presence as a community gathering place.
“We know plenty of folks in Hutto who drive to Austin just to visit Top Notch, and we envision being met by friendly faces the day we open our doors” said Chappell. “We like the Co-Op District project because they have an appreciation for small, iconic businesses and they’re focused on building a strong community synergy.”
The City of Hutto has spent nearly two decades working to develop the Co-Op District where residents and visitors alike can live, work and play and we are proud to see as such investment taking root bringing growth and economic vitality to Hutto,” said Mayor Doug Gaul.
In addition to Top Notch and Southside Market, the Co-Op District has also signed on Flix Brewhouse as the project’s first entertainment tenant. The mixed-use development will also be home to The City of Hutto’s new City Hall, featuring a two-story, 33,000 square-foot building and the future Hutto Public Library.
“It is hard to imagine coming out of the gates with a stronger lineup of offerings than Southside Market, Flix Brewhouse and Top Notch,” said Bob Wunsch of MA Partners, developer of The Co-Op District. “This speaks to the positive growth of Hutto and the interest by some of the region’s most widely recognized restaurant and entertainment brands to be part of this vibrant community and its exciting future.”
“Hutto is the only place for Top Notch to call home with our strong sense of community and thriving economy,” said Councilmember Nathan Killough. “The Co-Op District is a unique entertainment destination for families that integrates Hutto’s past with its future and will be the right place for Top Notch’s delicious burgers and more that’s to come.”
In the past year alone, Hutto has welcomed four manufacturing and technology companies (AEND Industries, BryComm, JRS Company and Paradigm Metals) covering over 186,000 square feet of commercial space. Hutto’s population is growing at an equally rapid pace, having doubled since 2010, with approximately half of that growth happening in the past two years.