Almost three weeks after announcing the closing of Abi Haus and Public Haus, owner Jimbo Jackson announced the two would reopen on April 21.
Jackson, who opened Abi Haus five years ago, said they announced the closure on Facebook, alongside a description of what they would need to keep the restaurant open.
“I knew at the time I didn’t have the money to combine the two spaces,” Jackson said.
When Abi Haus was two years old, Public Haus opened on the same block. Jackson said when the building owner changed the rent to month-to-month, he thought they had more months in the bank than they did, but ultimately had to get out sooner than they thought.
Through social media and phone calls, Jackson said the community reached out to supply necessities to keep the doors open.
“We read all of those things on social media, and it made us feel worse than people were feeling,” Jackson said. “Everyone had the heartbreak, and it broke our hearts. At that point it’s on me; I don’t want to let anyone down.”
The Abi Haus dining area will now have a giant bar and five indoor tables for people to eat at, all while keeping the family-friendly atmosphere for people to enjoy high-end, diner-style food and drink. Jackson said combining the best of both worlds into one space is their main goal.
Jackson said although re-opening on April 21 makes for an aggressive schedule, it is doable because of local contractors and electricians who offered their help.
“The only reason we are on time to do it is because the community stepped up,” Jackson said.
With the revitalization, Jackson hired a new chef from Austin named Johnny.
“He made us realize how amazing we could be,” Jackson said. “We decided it would be better to fight the good fight and revitalize what we are doing.”
Johnny said he moved to Abilene to continue as a chef while he saves up to move to Seattle to work with seafood.
“It was hard for me to save money living by myself in Austin,” Johnny said. “My favorite thing to make so far is probably the pulled pork sandwich, but I like it all so there’s not one I can say that is my absolute favorite.”
Abi Haus will be opening with a new menu during their normal business hours.