A Modern Mexican Restaurant in Austin Created by a Team of Locals

A Modern Mexican Restaurant in Austin Created by a Team of Locals

By Michele Koh Morollo
Though this modern, ground-floor restaurant may look like a shop or lobby from the street, inside, it's a light and airy dining destination that stands out from many of the other Mexican eateries in downtown Austin.

Designed by Austin-based practice Michael Hsu Office of ArchitectureATX Cocina is a commodious and lofty restaurant that features floor-to-ceiling windows and a greenhouse-like atmosphere. It's where Austenite’s can enjoy margaritas and chef Kevin Taylor’s modern Mexican cuisine. 

A vaulted ceiling made of hemlock and pine gently arches over the bright dining areas and open kitchen. 

The floors and tabletops are made of warm pecan wood. 

Vetiver green-wire mesh, blackened-steel cabinetry, copper accents, and peppery reds from fabrics by Knoll and Carnegie add contrast to the raw wood found throughout. Art by local woodwork artist Aaron Michalovic is featured. 

Hsu collaborated with Austin designers and builders to bring his ideas to fruition, including design and fabrication studio Drophouse Design, lighting studio Warbach, and designer Brandon Mike

Drophouse custom-built most of the wood and metal features, including a kitchen partition and steel-and-pine cabinet with copper infills. He also specially built the banquettes, shelves, doors, planters, and bathroom vanities.

Warbach, who designed and custom-made some of the light fixtures, teamed up with local designer Brandon Mike to create the concrete light pendants that hang above the partitioned dining areas. 

Project Credits: 

- Architecture and Interior Design: Michael Hsu, Michael Hsu Office of Architecture 

- Builder: Fey Carroll, IE2 Construction

- Structural Engineering: Adam Antosh, Structural Consultants Associates, Inc. 

- Landscape Design: Garrett Hinze, Texas Landscape Creations 

- Lighting Design: Kimberly Doerle, Spectrum Lighting 

- Custom Lighting Design and Manufacturer: Nathan Warner, Warbach Lighting 

- Cabinetry Design and Installation: Christian Klein, Drophouse Design 


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