Magic Time Machine in Austin

1975 - 1992

Formerly

600 East Riverside, Austin, Texas 78704

(512) 444-3537

Description — Permanently Closed

The company’s website promises “not just a restaurant … it’s an adventure!”1 The zany food, wacky waitstaff, and off-the-wall interior design of the Dallas and San Antonio locations of Magic Time Machine don’t disappoint. So in a city whose motto is “Keep Austin Weird,” was MTM too weird for Austin or not weird enough?

The first Magic Time Machine Restaurant opened in San Antonio, Texas in 19732 under the leadership of Mr. Jim Hasslocher.3 An Austin location opened in 1975,4 and a Dallas location opened in 1979.2 Management sometimes describes the off-beat vibe as “funky nostalgia.”5 The waitstaff puts on hilarious acts in costumes associated with historical settings like the Roman Empire6 or pop culture characters like Cinderella,7 Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman,8 Tinker Bell, Captain Jack Sparrow, and Spider-Man.9 Reviewers have referred to the restaurants as “wacky,”10 “bizarre,”11 and “one of the wildest bits of mayhem” ever seen.12

Unfortunately, the Austin MTM closed its doors in 1992.13

References

  1. Magic Time Machine, Magic Time Machine Website 

  2. About Us, Magic Time Machine Website  2

  3. “Hasslocher, G. Jim - Obituary”, Austin American-Statesman, Nov 22, 2015 

  4. Advertisement, Austin American-Statesman, Jun 1, 1975 

  5. “Take a Disco Trip Back in Time With Austin’s Magic Time Machine”, Eater Austin, Jan 29, 2015 

  6. Advertisement, Austin American-Statesman, Sep 7, 1998 

  7. Advertisement, Austin American-Statesman, Sep 22, 1978 

  8. “Rosedale magic”, Austin American-Statesman, Mar 22, 1979 

  9. “Experience the Magic Time Machine Restaurant in Texas”, Trips to Discover, Nov 9, 2017 

  10. “Welcome to the house of fun”, Austin American-Statesman, Jun 3, 1989 

  11. “Magic Time Machine runs on fun”, Austin American-Statesman, Oct 5, 1991 

  12. “Magic meets fun for dinner”, Austin American-Statesman, Sep 7, 1982 

  13. “Seafood replaces shenanigans”, Austin American-Statesman, Jun 9, 1992 

FAQ

  1. Is Magic Time Machine in Austin really gone?
    Yes, it really is.
  2. It’s permanently closed?
    Yes. Sorry.
  3. Do you understand my pain right now?
    Just try to remember the good times.

Timeline

  • 2015 November 22

    G. Jim Hasslocher … built and operated restaurants feeding hungry Texans for over sixty-five years.
    Hasslocher, G. Jim - Obituary
    • “Hasslocher, G. Jim - Obituary”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Nov 22, 2015
    • Newspapers.com
  • 2015 November 8

    You can’t get away from a few 1970s concept places such as Magic Time Machine, 600 E. Riverside ….
    Dining scene, 40 years ago
    • “Dining scene, 40 years ago”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Nov 8, 2015
    • Newspapers.com
  • 2015 January 29

    A San Antonio theme restaurant briefly expanded to Austin in the 70’s.
    Take a Disco Trip Back in Time With Austin’s Magic Time Machine
    • “Take a Disco Trip Back in Time With Austin’s Magic Time Machine”
    • Eater Austin
    • Jan 29, 2015
    • austin.eater.com
  • 1998 September 7

    At the Magic Time Machine, the rooms and wait people were cornily decorated to represent various eras of history, such as ancient Rome.
    Austin in ‘76 not exactly a cuisine capital
    • “Austin in ‘76 not exactly a cuisine capital”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Sep 7, 1998
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1998 January 28

    For Grace Willms, readers shared the recipe for Tomato Soup from the Magic Time Machine restaurant, which used to be on Riverside Drive.
    Recipe Swap
    • “Recipe Swap”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Jan 28, 1998
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1995 September 28

    Landry’s on the Lake, in the old Magic Time Machine building, is pleasant with friendly service, but the food needs work.
    Location Isn’t Enough
    • “Location Isn’t Enough”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Sep 28, 1995
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1992 July 11

    Work is proceeding to transform the former Magic Time Machine restaurant at 600 E. Riverside Drive into a Landry’s Seafood House.
    Making magic changes
    • “Making magic changes”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Jul 11, 1992
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1992 June 9

    Magic Time Machine restaurant sold, to reopen as a Landry’s
    Seafood replaces shenanigans
    • “Seafood replaces shenanigans”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Jun 9, 1992
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1992 April 12

    Easter Lunch with the Bunny. For not a lot of lettuce.
    Magic Time Machine - Easter Lunch
    • “Magic Time Machine - Easter Lunch”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Apr 12, 1992
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1992 January 9

    Central Texas Ballooning … meets at 7:00 p.m. at the Magic Time Machine, 600 E. Riverside Drive.
    Clubs: Monday: Central Texas Ballooning
    • “Clubs: Monday: Central Texas Ballooning”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Jan 9, 1992
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1991 October 5

    Bizarre isn’t too strong a word to describe the shenanigans at this eatery hugging the banks of Town Lake.
    Magic Time Machine runs on fun
    • “Magic Time Machine runs on fun”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Oct 5, 1991
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1989 September 2

    The Magic Time Machine still features Fun House-style dining and waiters who delve into slapstick comedy, but the restaurant’s image has changed to focus on good food as much as entertainment.
    Dining out in review - Magic Time Machine
    • “Dining out in review - Magic Time Machine”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Sep 2, 1989
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1989 June 3

    Food, frolic now earn equal billing at wacky Magic Time Machine
    Welcome to the house of fun
    • “Welcome to the house of fun”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Jun 3, 1989
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1988 November 22

    Magic Time Machine - We’re Talking Turkey
    • “Magic Time Machine - We’re Talking Turkey”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Nov 22, 1988
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1988 April 10

    Magic Time Machine - The Following Specials will be honored
    • “Magic Time Machine - The Following Specials will be honored”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Apr 10, 1988
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1986 December 14

    Until you visit the Magic Time Machine, you’ll never know what you’ve been missing.
    Do you know me? I made dining out a magical experience.
    • “Do you know me? I made dining out a magical experience.”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Dec 14, 1986
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1986 December 3

    Waiting with your kids to see Santa
    • “Waiting with your kids to see Santa”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Dec 3, 1986
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1985 December 5

    Magic Time Machine’s beef barley soup
    Beef barley soup needs no magic
    • “Beef barley soup needs no magic”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Dec 5, 1985
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1985 November 3

    This is NOT an ad for … Kiwi
    • “This is NOT an ad for … Kiwi”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Nov 3, 1985
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1985 September 20

    This is NOT an ad for … Football
    • “This is NOT an ad for … Football”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Sep 20, 1985
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1984 May 31

    Magic Time Machine’s pineapple cheesecake
    Cheesecake makes a sweet memory
    • “Cheesecake makes a sweet memory”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • May 31, 1984
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1983 March 7

    Need person with sewing experience as well as imagination to make costumes for the Magic Time Machine.
    600 E. Riverside Dr. Magic Time Machine.
    • “600 E. Riverside Dr. Magic Time Machine.”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Mar 7, 1983
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1982 September 7

    The place happened to be the Magic Time Machine which, bar none, is one of the wildest bits of mayhem ever slapped under a restaurant label.
    Magic meets fun for dinner
    • “Magic meets fun for dinner”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Sep 7, 1982
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1981 May 7

    Magic Time Machine cheese croutons
    Cheese croutons come hot or old (and even frozen)
    • “Cheese croutons come hot or old (and even frozen)”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • May 7, 1981
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1979 September 4

    Look what the Magic Time Machine has pulled from its hat!
    • “Look what the Magic Time Machine has pulled from its hat!”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Sep 4, 1979
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1979 March 30

    Get Lost at the Magic Time Machine
    • “Get Lost at the Magic Time Machine”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Mar 30, 1979
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1979 March 23

    Hurry, Hurry, Step Right Up
    • “Hurry, Hurry, Step Right Up”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Mar 23, 1979
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1979 March 22

    The Magic Time Machine restaurant bought the tickets for the eight students to see Jules the Magician at the Gaslight Theatre. The students met at the restaurant and were greeted by employees costumed as Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and other characters.
    Rosedale magic
    • “Rosedale magic”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Mar 22, 1979
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1979 February 10

    Ladies and Gentlemen! Now appearing at the Magic Time Machine
    • “Ladies and Gentlemen! Now appearing at the Magic Time Machine”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Feb 10, 1979
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1979 January 27

    No matter where you come from, come visit us at the Magic Time Machine.
    Sylvester the Cat … He Comes From Lubbock
    • “Sylvester the Cat … He Comes From Lubbock”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Jan 27, 1979
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1978 September 30

    The Magic Time Machine. It’s elementary . . . and a whole lot of fun.
    Sherlock’s solution for sensational sustenance
    • “Sherlock’s solution for sensational sustenance”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Sep 30, 1978
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1978 September 22

    The Magic Time Machine is having a fantastic birthday party. And You’re Invited!
    Share some free bubbly with Cinderella
    • “Share some free bubbly with Cinderella”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Sep 22, 1978
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1975

    Jim changed the name to Steak Island and then converted it to Magic Time Machine. There wasn’t much built on the water back in those days.
    Dear Dale
    • “Dear Dale”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Apr 22, 2018
    • Newspapers.com
  • 1975 June 1

    Goodbye, Steak Island. Hello, Magic Time Machine!
    • “Goodbye, Steak Island. Hello, Magic Time Machine!”
    • Austin American-Statesman
    • Jun 1, 1975
    • Newspapers.com

Recent Closures

Closed, But Not Forgotten