Transformation of main stage area to Heart of Austin set to begin, renovated cell phone lot opens

Jul 9, 2018 - 1:51 pm

Rendering of Heart of Austin at ABIA airport

Renovation to transform the main live music performance area across from Gate 10 at the Barbara Jordan Terminal into the Heart of Austin is set to begin this month. This will include new concession options, a new stage, bleachers and game tables. The new cell phone lot is now open with a gas station and convenience store. The parking garage is now more than halfway complete and renovation to Carousel 5 has started in bag claim.

Rendering of Heart of Austin design to be located across from Gate 10Main stage performance area to become Heart of Austin

Renovation of the Ray Benson Roadhouse, Austin Java, and Salt Lick Taco Bar concession space across from Gate 10 in the center of the Barbara Jordan Terminal is set to begin in mid-July.

When complete the 4,456 square foot renovated space will be known as the Heart of Austin. The Heart of Austin will feature a taco truck, the Saxton Pub restaurant, Heart of Austin bar, Jo’s Coffee, bleacher seating, dining table and bar seating, and a new Ray Benson Asleep at the Wheel Stage.

Located in the center of the concourse, the main music stage at the Austin airport has the reputation of making passengers arrive early just to hear the live performance, or tempt passers-by to stop and sit on a whim to hear live music, and have a beverage or taco.

Bleachers above Jo’s Coffee allows a prime view of the “Asleep at the Wheel” stage, shuffleboard and other games for travelers.

Jo’s Coffee is a local Austin establishment that opened on South Congress in 1999, serving coffee, teas, hot chocolate and sandwiches. Jo’s has locations at St. Edwards University in Austin and downtown in the Second Street District.

The renovations to the Heart of Austin, that includes game tables, a beverage counter, and condiment bar are expected to be complete by the end of the year. Austin houses and their structural features motivated the design of the Heart of Austin and other city abstracts.

Performances at other venues will be added during construction of the Heart of Austin. Other performance venues include Annie’s Café & Bar near Gate 18, Earl Campbell’s Sports Bar and Waterloo Records near Gate 15. For the complete July 2018 music schedule at the Austin airport go to

The Heart of Austin will be operated by concessionaire Delaware North who is also a sponsor of the airport's music program.

New cell phone lot at Austin airportRenovated cell phone lot opens with gas and convenience store

With 29 distinctive curved arched roof beams, the new free cell phone lot is now open at the Austin airport and features a Texaco gas station and a convenience store for those who are picking up passengers and traveling.

The cell phone lot has 120 total available parking spaces including electric vehicle charging stations. Ten covered gas pumps make up the fuel station. Drinks, food, and restrooms are available inside the 4,500 square foot convenience store.

Flight Information Displays are located outside the store. Drivers who are picking up passengers can park at the cell phone lot, and wait for a call before picking them up from the terminal. The three-structure project features a LED lighting package that can brightly change colors to reflect a theme or season.

Inside of convenience store located at cell phone lot at Austin airportThe cell phone lot reduces congestion at the terminal and is a convenient place for drivers instead of continuously circling the airport. View the airport video about ABIA Retail at and the new facility located just off SH 71 at 2901 Spirit of Texas Drive.

Estimated to be completed this year, the next phase of construction will include the opening of restaurant space for Austin Java, with a drive-through service, Subway, and Taco N’ Mama. An airport-themed playground is being designed for the facility.

6,000 spot-parking garage at airport 55 percent complete

Austin Commercial the lead contractor for the garage construction has poured over 75,000 cubic yards of concrete so far in the construction of the new 6,000 space-parking garage at the Austin airport. It is estimated that construction is approximately 55 percent complete, and the parking structure is up to the fifth level in some areas.

There is a construction camera stationed at the site to view the building of the garage that is three football fields in length. To view photos (updated every 30 minutes) and to watch the time-lapse movie of the new garage (slated to open in 2018), visit

Bag Claim replacement advances to Carousel 5

Modernization of the existing carousels in the Barbara Jordan Terminal continues with the completion of Carousel 4, as part of the overall airport improvement project. Demolition and construction are scheduled to replace Carousel 5. Once completed, work will move to Carousel 6 to replace and modernize the original equipment from 1999. Carousel 1 was completed back in November, doubling the size of the original carousel. Upgrades to Carousel 2-4 are now complete.