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Founded as a single restaurant in Washington, D.C.’s Glover Park neighborhood back in 1988, Austin Grill has grown over the last 19 years to include six locations in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. But the inspiration for the Grill goes back a little further when, in the summer of 1984, future Austin Grill Founder Rob Wilder traveled to Austin, Texas to join college classmate (and future Austin Grill honcho) Scott Shaw who, as it happened, was starting up an ice cream company (Amy’s Ice Cream) with Amy Miller. Now, Austin is the kind of town where people have fun together, enjoy eating great food, appreciate good music, and don’t take life any more seriously than necessary to make next month’s rent. Before long Austin and Rob had sorta adopted each other. However, as proof that love is stronger than salsa, Rob chased his girlfriend, (now his wife!) Robin, to Washington, DC and nine months later the Austin Grill was born! After several months of hammer swinging, the original Grill crew had transformed an old Chinese Restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue into a funky Tex-Mex joint. On June 24, 1988, “The Grill” served its first taco. The critics took note. Washington Post’s Phyllis Richman listed Austin Grill as one of her “favorites”. We made it into Washingtonian Magazine’s “50 Best Restaurants” and onto Washingtonian’s “50 Best Bargain Restaurants”. Not to mention Hispanic Magazine’s Best Restaurants USA. Not bad riding and roping, huh? By 1990, the first Austin Grill had fairly bust its seams. So, it spawned a bigger sibling, South Austin Grill, just a coin’s throw across the Potomac in Old Town Alexandria, VA. In 1993, we teamed with Roberto Alvarez to create Jaleo, our popular “Spanish cousin” which marries classic Spanish Tapas with our style of exuberant service. In 1995 we opened a third Grill in West Springfield, VA. In 1996, we added another Austin Grill in Bethesda, MD and in 1998, we were busy, opening a Grill in The Lansburgh on E Street in the Penn Quarter area of downtown DC, and one in Baltimore, MD at the Can Company in Canton. Each restaurant is uniquely decorated with stencils, sculptures, murals, and Texas style doodads. Over the years, Austin Grill has fed a couple of Presidents, one Secretary of State, one Attorney General, the Governor of Texas, the Mayor of Austin, a small herd of Texas Congressmen, a bunch of Senators, musicians from REM, Red Hot Chile Peppers, 10,000 Maniacs, James Taylor, and a guy named Jimmie Dale Gilmore. In 1998, Rob was named “Restauranteur of the Year” by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington. In 2003, we made the switch to Wind-Power. We’re proud to say that every Austin Grill location is 100% wind-powered and that we were the first multi-unti restaurant in the country to be entirely powered by wind. In October of 2006, Austin Grill was given the opportunity to partner up with the Thompson Hospitality team. Thompson Hospitality has unlocked the door for us to open our seventh restaurant in Rockville, MD., in 2007. With approximately 2,500 employees, Thompson Hospitality is one of the largest food-service company in the world and offers enormous growing potential for the Grills. And that’s just the first nineteen years. We can’t wait to see what the next nineteen years will bring through our doors !!

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About Austin Grill

Founded as a single restaurant in Washington, D.C.’s Glover Park neighborhood back in 1988, Austin Grill has grown over the last 19 years to include six locations in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

But the inspiration for the Grill goes back a little further when, in the summer of 1984, future Austin Grill Founder Rob Wilder traveled to Austin, Texas to join college classmate (and future Austin Grill honcho) Scott Shaw who, as it happened, was starting up an ice cream company (Amy’s Ice Cream) with Amy Miller.

Now, Austin is the kind of town where people have fun together, enjoy eating great food, appreciate good music, and don’t take life any more seriously than necessary to make next month’s rent. Before long Austin and Rob had sorta adopted each other.

However, as proof that love is stronger than salsa, Rob chased his girlfriend, (now his wife!) Robin, to Washington, DC and nine months later the Austin Grill was born! After several months of hammer swinging, the original Grill crew had transformed an old Chinese Restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue into a funky Tex-Mex joint. On June 24, 1988, “The Grill” served its first taco.

The critics took note. Washington Post’s Phyllis Richman listed Austin Grill as one of her “favorites”. We made it into Washingtonian Magazine’s “50 Best Restaurants” and onto Washingtonian’s “50 Best Bargain Restaurants”. Not to mention Hispanic Magazine’s Best Restaurants USA. Not bad riding and roping, huh?

By 1990, the first Austin Grill had fairly bust its seams. So, it spawned a bigger sibling, South Austin Grill, just a coin’s throw across the Potomac in Old Town Alexandria, VA. In 1993, we teamed with Roberto Alvarez to create Jaleo, our popular “Spanish cousin” which marries classic Spanish Tapas with our style of exuberant service.

In 1995 we opened a third Grill in West Springfield, VA.

In 1996, we added another Austin Grill in Bethesda, MD and in 1998, we were busy, opening a Grill in The Lansburgh on E Street in the Penn Quarter area of downtown DC, and one in Baltimore, MD at the Can Company in Canton.

Each restaurant is uniquely decorated with stencils, sculptures, murals, and Texas style doodads.

Over the years, Austin Grill has fed a couple of Presidents, one Secretary of State, one Attorney General, the Governor of Texas, the Mayor of Austin, a small herd of Texas Congressmen, a bunch of Senators, musicians from REM, Red Hot Chile Peppers, 10,000 Maniacs, James Taylor, and a guy named Jimmie Dale Gilmore. In 1998, Rob was named “Restauranteur of the Year” by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.

In 2003, we made the switch to Wind-Power. We’re proud to say that every Austin Grill location is 100% wind-powered and that we were the first multi-unti restaurant in the country to be entirely powered by wind.

In October of 2006, Austin Grill was given the opportunity to partner up with the Thompson Hospitality team. Thompson Hospitality has unlocked the door for us to open our seventh restaurant in Rockville, MD., in 2007. With approximately 2,500 employees, Thompson Hospitality is one of the largest food-service company in the world and offers enormous growing potential for the Grills.

And that’s just the first nineteen years. We can’t wait to see what the next nineteen years will bring through our doors !!