FOOD + SCHOOL: Think of it as something like Restaurant Week. Except that it pops up periodically through the year and all the funds go to one charity. Eat Out for Good is yet another outlet for socially plugged-in Matt Swinney, better known recently for Austin Fashion X, formerly called Austin Fashion Week. Since the proceeds for this Buick Supper Club weeknight Italian repast at Sagra went to the Rise School − which mixes children with disabilities with more typical kids − many of the diners were parents. I expected my table mates to talk exclusively about Rise, but instead, to my delight, they got to know each other better. Previously, they probably just wave each day as they picked up their kids. I sat across from Peter Holcomb, a techster who claimed to be introverted, but who dazzled me with stories about start-ups that could have been borrowed from AMC’s excellent series “Halt and Catch Fire.”
STYLE + ARTS: Social types are putting the South Congress Hotel through its paces. Although two shops, three eateries and a small bar won’t open until October, the rough-edged modernist looker is open for business. (The hotel’s bistro-diner Café No Sé is up and running beautifully.) I returned to the spot for the second time in one day for a Tribeza Style Week event in a special space that opens onto a courtyard and garden inspired by Hamilton Pool. A pop-up art show looked grand on the walls as a youngish crowd mingled over mixed drinks and ice cream. Proceeds went to the Waller Creek Conservancy, which is raising millions to build five connected parks along that blighted waterway. Got to speak with the wonderful Walter Wilkie, an inventor and innovative philanthropist, who had just nights before underwritten tickets for University of Texas music students to attend Austin Opera‘s Gala Concert.