Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Step Out for Dinner in Austin at Spot Linked to Their First Date (Exclusive)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are in Austin ahead of Meghan's SXSW panel appearance

<p>Karwai Tang/WireImage</p> Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on Feb. 15 in Whistler

Karwai Tang/WireImage

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on Feb. 15 in Whistler

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are squeezing in a special date night before the Duchess of Sussex's panel appearance at the SXSW Conference on Friday.

On Thursday night, the couple grabbed dinner at Soho House Austin in Texas. Meghan, 42, and Harry, 39, traveled from their home in Montecito, California, to Austin, where the Duchess will participate in the Opening Day Keynote Panel on International Women's Day.

Meghan and Harry dined at a corner table at the private members' club. "They were happy and in great spirits," an onlooker tells PEOPLE. "Harry was very animated throughout the dinner. They were super low key and seemed happy to be around the upbeat vibes at the lively venue."

Soho House is a very special place for the couple — they had their first date at the SoHo House in London in July 2016.

"Red-cheeked, puffing, sweaty, half an hour late, I ran into the restaurant, into the quiet room, and found her sitting at a small area on a low velvet sofa in front of a low coffee table," Harry recalled in his memoir Spare.

<p>Andrew Chin/Getty </p> Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on Feb. 14 in Whistler, British Columbia

Andrew Chin/Getty

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on Feb. 14 in Whistler, British Columbia

"She was wearing a black sweater, jeans, heels. I knew nothing about clothes, but I knew she was chic. Then again, she could make anything look chic," Harry wrote. "I'd seen so many photos of her from fashion shoots and TV sets, all glam and glossy, but here she was, in the flesh, no frills, no filter… and even more beautiful. Heart-attack beautiful. I was trying to process this, struggling to understand what was happening to my circulatory and nervous systems, and as a result my brain couldn't handle any more data. Conversation, pleasantries, the Queen's English, all became a challenge."

Related: Meghan Markle Wears Romantic Nods to Prince Harry on Valentine's Day — Including Return of Engagement Ring

Meghan FaceTimed Harry later that evening, and they set another date, agreeing to meet again at Soho House the next night.

On Friday, Meghan will join a panel titled "Breaking Barriers, Shaping Narratives: How Women Lead On and Off the Screen" alongside Katie Couric, Brooke Shields, and Nancy Wang Yuen. The discussion will be moderated by Errin Haines, host of The Amendment podcast and editor-at-large for The 19th News.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also recently traveled to Canada, where they spent a few days marking the one-year countdown to next year's Invictus Games in Whistler and Vancouver.

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