The venerable storefront breakfast joint on Congress Avenue, founded in 1981 by a pair of sisters, is an Austin institution, especially during SXSW, when musicians, journalists and various music-biz types congregate to wolf down tacos, migas and spicy huevos a la mexicana.
As so often happens in the name of progress, though, Las Manitas and adjoining businesses — including the only full-time child-care center in downtown Austin — has lost its lease so a developer can raze the 1900s-era buildings to erect a multi-story hotel on the site. Now, hotel rooms are most definitely scarce during SXSW, but surely there's some other site more suited to new lodgings than the 200 block of Congress Avenue. (This group thinks so.)
The first of the three times I was there this year (mmm, spicy huevos ...), one of the owners said they would probably re-open elsewhere, which is a plus. But it won't be the same. Sometimes progress feels pretty regressive.