The new Vivo location is open! I think “I live” is a little high-and-mighty a name for a restaurant. I would name my restaurant something a little more descriptive, like COMO, or “I eat!” But whatevs. The north side of Austin finally has a place for the Barbies and Kens of the area to go out for date night, pick up other Barbies and Kens, and have some good ol’ “healthier” Tex-Mex fare.
Plus, 18 and up- that’s the best way to get me to frequent any spot! No screaming kids, no messes for the waitstaff, and no watching your language- say the F word all you like and don’t get dirty glares from your neighbors! The racy art here is the reason, the owner Roger Diaz made this last-minute decision before opening to avoid possibly offending, and for the most part patrons have approved of the idea.
The artists are all from San Antonio, where Diaz has his roots (his mother owns a popular Tex-Mex restaurant on the Riverwalk.) Gilbert Duran was commissioned for some of the focal art, the gold nudes that are placed above each black leather booth. Carla Veliz’ round, feminine figures bring a splash of Mexican vibrancy and color, and another San Antonio artist whose name I forget provided the black-and-white photo collages.
The restaurant is the second Vivo to open in Austin, and hopes to mirror the popularity of the Manor location. The restuarant plans to have an extensive patio finished by summertime, which is sure to add to the draw for after-work drinks and dinner. They have good food, with less lard and more vegetarian options- one of the specialties is the puffy tacos, the best thing I’ve had here is the shrimp enchiladas which are a weekend special- BOMB-ASS green sauce and grilled shrimp.
The decor and feel of the place is very feminine, sexy, and club-like, with great lighting and plenty of places to get cozy. They’re currently only open for dinner, and they just began happy hour daily from 4-7. Check it out, $1 off beers, $2 of cocktails (my favorite is the Vivo Ria, sangria made with tequila, also love the house margarita with cucumber puree.) The drinks are pricy, so take advantage!
Disclaimer: I am working part-time here. I want you to come in and spend money, on tips to me! If I wasn’t working here, I would totally be hanging out here anyway. And from what customers are saying, they are all very grateful to have a place on the north side that provides some ambiance and some “Austin” without having to drive all the way downtown.