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RIP part III: Austin Restaurant Closings

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We're sadly over a 100 posts on RIP 2, lots of restaurants are closing around Austin right now. It's hard to fathom why the perpetually busy Mother Egan's is going under. They always seemed extremely busy. I'll be curious to see what opens in that space as it's a prime location.

What restaurants are closing in your neighborhood?

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  1. The folks from Molotov are taking it over. On a happier note, Thai Tara is also going, Mulberry owners are making it a gastro pub, can't wait! More news, Texas French Bread on SoCo is turning into a Wahoo's Fish Taco.

    3 Replies
    1. re: fabulousdrinksaustin

      I just saw today on Rob Balon's website that Thai Tara was closing. That sucks! That was by far my favorite downtown Thai to eat at when I am in Austin. And yes, I've been to the other favorites in a 10 mile radius.

      Bummer.

      1. re: Chicago Wine Geek

        Sorry that you are losing your favorite, but I have to admit I'm happy to see a mediocre restaurant being replaced by what I hope is an outstanding restaurant.

        1. re: angusb

          the cocktails, at least, will be fantastic: word is bill norris (currently of fino) will be behind the stick.

    2. Went to Cafe de Bella for some Bon Mi, and found they were closed down. The space is going to be a cajun food place, called "Crazy Cajun." Just about ruined my Saturday.

      9 Replies
      1. re: feck

        that sucks. i used to go there for cheap bahn mi all the time. how time ravages mans accomplishments....

        1. re: feck

          Seriously? They had my favorite bánh mì in town. Completely inauthentic, but oh so yummy!

          1. re: thrackle

            Not trying to stir anything up, just learning: how was it completely inauthentic? They made their own charcuterie and had some really good french rolls from HOU. They even used different rolls for different sandwiches....

            I haven't been to Vietnam or anything (I'd like to), so I'm not sure what actual bahn mi authenticity is.

            1. re: rudeboy

              Sorry! Slip of the toungue, brought on by commenting in the 'authenticity' thread. Let me change that to read "Completely unlike the bánh mì I've had anywhere else" :-). The crust wasn't as 'crusty' as most I've had, and the bread was denser.

              I'm not sure it even makes sense to talk about the authenticity of bánh mì: I'm sure you know as much as, if not more than, me about the origins, but it's a 'fusion' dish that was invented during the French occupation of Indochina that's been evolving ever since. No one talks about the authenticity of other fusion cuisine, so why worry about the authenticity of this, youknowhatimean?

              1. re: thrackle

                That makes sense. I'd imagine that even over in Vietnam, the variety covers a broad range. Lord, I love bahn mi......in all forms.

          2. re: feck

            Boo. While I have not tried many banh mi restaurants in Austin, I did know that I enjoyed Cafe De Bella's version a lot and liked to combine lunchtime post office runs with a stop there.

            I guess I'll have to find a new place that isn't too far away from the Oak Knoll area. I don't care much for Baguette House's version (too dry, but I guess I could start asking for extra pate & mayo). Haven't had Lily's yet...

            1. re: verily

              Yeah, it's a serious bummer. The grilled pork banh mi was my favorite of the genre. And they were just so darn friendly!

              I was particularly fond of their iced coffee too. Tam's Deli on North Lamar is a good alternative, but these guys will be missed.

              1. re: puddles

                Pho Van has a pretty solid grilled pork banh mi in the same shopping center (better pork, worse bread; a wash in the end if you ask me).

              2. re: verily

                Try Tam Deli on North Lamar. I crave their bahn mi weekly! The bread is made in house, and all the ingredients are fresh and delish.

            2. Never mind.

              4 Replies
              1. re: bookgrrl72

                They just updated again and said they were closed for only one night and will be open tomorrow.

                1. re: TerryMtz

                  Evita's Botanita on S. 1st is gone. We went to DK's Seoul Food on Friday and the Evita's sign was gone and the space is completely empty. They weren't my favorite but the tower of salsa was amazing.

                  1. re: carimwc

                    Dot's Place final service is this Friday

                    http://weareaustin.com/content/fullte...

                    1. re: scrumptiouschef

                      now thats a damn travesty!

              2. Looks like Louie's 106 is a goner:

                http://www.louies106.net/

                -----
                Louie's 106
                106 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

                6 Replies
                1. re: jwynne2000

                  Oh, that's sad.

                  1. re: jwynne2000

                    Good riddance. I had went there once and it was abysmal. I thought they had "tapas" but all they had were deep-fried TGIFriday's-style appetisers.

                    1. re: jwynne2000

                      That's a real shame. I went there many times and it was always very good. I loved the decor and the food I had was great. I especially like the clams casino; I think that was probably the only place in the city that had them.

                      It was nice to have a place downtown that was more of an "old school" restaurant. Unfortunately, considering modern economics, it will probably be replaced by some place that has the character of a Los Angeles shot bar.

                      1. re: Thorkel

                        Well, LA people don't call Austin "Little LA" for nothing!

                        Is this the same Thorkel that was posting a few years ago?

                        1. re: rudeboy

                          Yeah, I used to haunt the restaurant board back in the dim and distant past when the Austin paper actually hosted discussion forums. Don't know why they gave that up. I guess actually being useful to their customer base was too much strain.

                      2. re: jwynne2000

                        that's sad...oh well, I guess once they took the marvelous whole sardine dish off the menu, the writing was on the wall...

                      3. I was at Northcross Mall last week and walked over to Veranda but they we shuttered (apparently for quite some time but I had not been).

                        1. Heard Joe DiMaggio's closed last night.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: amykragan

                            Wow, that didn't last too long.

                            1. re: cstrombe

                              Double shot of campus closures

                              RIP: Drungos, ex Lovejoy honcho Chip has moved onto greener pastures.

                              RIP: Little Woodrows on the Drag, guess their overpriced Live Oak didn't cut the mustard with the UT crowd

                              1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                Bring back the Showdown!

                                1. re: The Eater

                                  The hell with the Showdown....
                                  Bring back Raul's!! ;-)

                                  1. re: nw_austin_gourmand

                                    A fair point. I'm afraid I'm showing my age.

                                    1. re: The Eater

                                      Little Woodrow's has been replaced by something called The Local Pub... Anyone been? i ask because a part of me deeply suspects that it's the same owners as the vile Little Woodrows, and perhaps they just changed the name because of all the bad buzz among the former patrons of the Showdown. The Local Pub still has the sign up for "FN Good Burgers" which is a remnant of Little Woodrows... Also, if you have to NAME yourself "Local Pub," umm, my inclination is to not trust you.

                                      1. re: femmenikita

                                        Couldn't have said that last sentence better!

                                2. re: scrumptiouschef

                                  I just drove past the ex-Drungos location, and it now appears to be called Jax, and is open for business.

                              2. re: amykragan

                                The Joe Demagio thing is a huge bummer. I never really liked the place but I just got a $75 gift card from them from my boss. Went up there this weekend and were disappointed to find out it will go to waste.

                                1. re: Craig87

                                  It looks like Joe D's is run by a restaurant group that also owns Maria Maria (among others, but that's the only one with an Austin location). Maybe you could contact HQ and see if they would honor there?

                              3. I don't know if I would call it a "restaurant," but the (seemingly) troubled Lavaca St. Deli at 14th & Lavaca is closed after retooling their menu a few times. It's a weird location, but they have a captive daytime audience of State workers (on which the Chili Parlor and Texadelphia seem to thrive). Anyway, there's plenty of sandwiches in the area, so we'll see what (if anything) pops up in its place.

                                1. El Grito at Merrilltown and 1325 (Burnet) has closed. There's a sign announcing a new restaurant (sorry, can't remember the name, but it sounded like Tex-Mex) to open soon in that space.

                                  -----
                                  El Grito Restaurant
                                  14611 N Mo Pac Expy, Austin, TX 78728

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: noz

                                    El Grito owners are in process of remodeling a space in the Boardwalk Center (Home Depot, Walmart) in Round Rock next to Dell campus. Looks like opening mid June. Daniel Rea, Owner, is one of nicest guys you ever want to meet. I think they are opening under a different name. Much better parking & traffic than old spot.

                                  2. I have heard that Roy's has closed. Anyone know specifics? I have lived here 10 years and have never eaten their, nobody I know has eaten at Roy's either! Was the food the problem, or lack of traffic? Many restaurants in Austin are still reeling from the past 2 years. Any news?

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: leona666

                                      I ate there once. Wasn't impressed.

                                      In my opinion, I think their biggest problem is that all your business in that location is coming from business men, government, or conventions. And to be honest, a lot of those business dinners end up at steakhouses. Also, Austin has this reputation of having some great locally owned restaurants, so travelers want to try the local flavor while they are here and not some chain.

                                      1. re: leona666

                                        i went twice. I liked it, although it was kind of loud. Generally when i want to spend to spend a lot of dough eating out, i don't want loud.

                                        1. re: leona666

                                          It is definitely closed; place is dark and there's a "for lease" sign out front. But I have no idea what happened. I think mac8111 is right - given the location, it was probably an expense account business trip place, and that sort of traffic has pretty well dried up since the dot-bomb blowup. So why the people who run this city still have this damnable "if we build it they will come" attitude about putting up more hotels, I sure don't know.

                                        2. Cissi's Market on S. Congress is closed. Service was always hit or miss, but they had some amazing food. Loved their sopa de lima, great sandwiches and am especially mourning the loss of their monte christo. My husband and I were weekend regulars right up until they went downhill to the point that the bartender was instructed to serve food with plastic utensils. Apparently the former chef is now working for Apple, not sure about the rest of the kitchen staff. I have nothing but ire for the owner, Victoria, who let a really special neighborhood restaurant slide into ruin. Haven't been to her new place yet, and don't intend to unless there's a monte christo on the menu.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Heather S.

                                            No, say it isn't so! I really liked their sandwiches, and especially the homemade pickles. Bah.

                                            1. re: Heather S.

                                              Wow, no love for Victoria? She was battling rising rents along with the usual up & down of food biz in Austin. Her new place is great and her coffee company, Kohana Coffee markets a damn fine product. I have nothing but admiration for her, knowing when it was time to gracefully exit.

                                            2. Saba on 4th st is closed. I saw signage in the window... I went in Saba once years ago, I knew i never wanted to go back.

                                              1. One thing I know for sure: there's a bunch of restaurants right now on the brink of going out of business--this summer we'll surely see many, many closings...meanwhile, I read today that Starbucks nationwide is doing free WiFi in order to fight off competition from McDonald's!

                                                1. I just saw that the Saba Blue Water Cafe on 4th Street is closed. It's being made into a night club called M2. I know this place was no great shakes foodwise but they used to make a fairly decent paella, and I like the fish tank behind the bar.

                                                  -----
                                                  Saba Blue Water Cafe
                                                  208 W 4th St Ste D, Austin, TX 78701

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Thorkel

                                                    I think M2 is more restaurant than night club. haven't been though.

                                                    1. re: ieathereforeiam

                                                      Here's what I found...
                                                      http://www.m2atx.com/m2atx.com/Menu.html

                                                      1. re: Rene

                                                        Sweet baby Jesus.

                                                        $4 for a handful of olives. Grilled peaches. Eel bacon. EEL BACON.

                                                        Apparently this place is determined to be unique at any cost. The menu makes it sound to me like a beautiful people place where people go so they can brag about how "special" the food is. I am already prepared to hate it. From the look of that menu I think I'd rather go to the Poodle Dog Lounge and order a pizza.

                                                        1. re: Thorkel

                                                          To me the menu looks like it is going for creativity and inspiration! Beautiful people go to places like corporate type restaurants and fill up on fried calamari and crab cakes! You can keep eating the same crappy food whenever you go out. Order your greasy pizza, me, I am gonna get me some eel bacon!!

                                                  2. Guess who else is closing?
                                                    Jade Leaves on 3100 Guadalupe.
                                                    I love their Green Goddess Soup, and all of their tea selections! Sure, it's a little expensive, but so worth it! And their bathroom is beautiful. They really did a lot of work on the place. Breaks my heart that it will be leaving. We're going to have to find another spot to have peaceful, delicious meetings. :(

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Mazarine

                                                      Jade Leaves was a good place to go when needing to think.

                                                      Last time I went there, I was bringing home my mom's ashes. Mom insisted on being cremated so that 'her body wouldn't be unearthed with the next hurricane' and many other reasons. It took several weeks from the funeral till the cremation. I did not want to go straight home, but didn't want to sit there in the funeral home parking lot all day as the knowledge sinks in that I would never have another conversation with my Mom. So I decided to stop at Jade Leaves which I had on my phone list as a tea shop to try.

                                                      It didn't seem right to leave Mom in the car. So I brought her in. Next decision is where to put her? Across from me? Next to me? Decided on next to me, turning the legalese / big black letters on the cardboard box towards me so as to not freak out the other guests who might notice.

                                                      Had 2 different types of teas steeped from leaves, one white tea and one other. I mentioned to the server that they tasted less flavorful or a lot weaker than I expected. Her sincere response was something like, "Inexperienced tea drinkers might feel that way, but..[detail why they aren't weak]." I recall amusedly thinking, "Have I just been insulted?" The exchange actually gave me a much-needed chuckle. And I am sure the server knew more about tea than I do. Bummed I missed their Green Goddess Soup.

                                                      Haven't been to any other place with as unique an environment for tea drinking in Austin.

                                                    2. TaKorea, my favorite of the Korean taco trucks in town, is closing permanently in a few days, as they posted on their Twitter:

                                                      http://twitter.com/takorea

                                                      Too bad. Seems like they moved around too much, and had a hard time getting a good location from which to operate.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: hlk

                                                        I'm really sad to see this place go. I was only able to eat there once - it took 30 minutes to get the tacos but they were great. I fell ill shortly thereafter (unrelated, I'm sure) but I kept thinking back to those delicious tacos.

                                                      2. And Katz's is klos...relocating. Hmm. Getting evicted, filing bankruptcy, and no ready place to relocate. http://austin.bizjournals.com/austin/...

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: Kaya_n_Austin

                                                          Isn't this the second time they have declared bankruptcy to get out of paying their employees and their debts?

                                                          1. re: The Tres Leches

                                                            And he still managed to pay himself a $5200/mo. salary, whilst not paying bills! So long Katz's. You could put the IKEA cafeteria there and it would be a 100% improvement from Katz's food.

                                                            1. re: tokyomonamour

                                                              Wow. Marc Katz, Lieutenant Governor wanna-be? Interesting read, I had no idea of the problems his company had faced. Selling downtown space and leasing back; ouch! Agree about the food, nevertheless, Katz's has been a fixture for me in my 20+ years of Austin living. Mediocre or not, losing it is going to be another reminder is that nothing never changes..... Not sure about the Ikea cafeteria reference, tokyo, that's harsh! :)

                                                        2. Looks like the Serranos at the Arboretum is gone. My husband wanted to go last night and it was all closed up.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: stephanieh

                                                            That's too bad. It wasn't the best, but I went there sometimes for lunch. Now there is one less choice in the area (and there aren't very many).

                                                          2. Looks like Hooters on Research (183) and Lake Creek is closed. Not really a big loss, but I guess it's still news.

                                                            1. Chango's on S. Lamar is a goner.

                                                              7 Replies
                                                              1. re: achtungpv

                                                                they announced a closure, or they are already closed?

                                                                that's too bad. i like them (for what they are) but never get down that way.

                                                                1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                  They're gone already. I was in the shopping center at lunch and the sign was gone and it was dark.

                                                                  1. re: achtungpv

                                                                    oh, bummer.
                                                                    they had recently sent out an email with a gift certificate deal for manuel's/chango's.
                                                                    good thing you can use them elsewhere...sheesh.

                                                                    1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                      Changos should still have a location on Guadalupe. I haven't been by there to verify.

                                                                      1. re: stephanieh

                                                                        doh! i always forget about that one.

                                                                        1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                          I'll miss Chango's. It's not great but it's good for what it is (was) and it was just soooo easy to deal with

                                                                        2. re: stephanieh

                                                                          Still open on Guadalupe. I was there last night. Their grilled shrimp tacos are great.

                                                                2. ArtZ Rib House - RIP.

                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                  1. re: rudeboy

                                                                    I will miss Chango's and their yummy aqua de fresca. I'm so sad...

                                                                    1. re: rudeboy

                                                                      when did this happen? I knew about a year ago they were struggling. I will miss their beef ribs.

                                                                      1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                        I read about it in Saturday's Stateman. There wasn't a whole lot of info. Here's the link - there's some pretty colorful comments to it.

                                                                        http://www.statesman.com/blogs/conten...

                                                                        1. re: rudeboy

                                                                          and we thought it could get heated on this board... yipes.

                                                                      2. re: rudeboy

                                                                        Art'z Rib House is NOT closed. I just called (they close at 10pm today if you are interested). Being bankrupt doesn't mean you are out of business (though I'll admit it is not a good sign). Katz's has been bankrupt many times...

                                                                        1. re: Carter B.

                                                                          Well, that's true....and I wondered about that when I read the article. There was such a finality to it, that I assumed that it closed. Thanks for calling abd finding out the truth, Carter B.

                                                                          1. re: Carter B.

                                                                            Katz announced yesterday that he is closing the doors on January 2.

                                                                            1. re: karma belle

                                                                              for realz? i feel like this is the umpteenth time they've announced closing.

                                                                        2. Marakesh on Congress is gone. It went downhill rapidly after the owner died. I went today to see if it had gotten back on track. Apparently not.

                                                                          1. Izzoz Tacos seems to be closing. New Year's Eve is their last day, according to a tweet from tonight:

                                                                            http://twitter.com/#!/IzzozTacos/stat...

                                                                            I am sad.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: hlk

                                                                              wow, that surprises me.
                                                                              i thought they were really popular (and tasty).

                                                                              1. re: dinaofdoom

                                                                                I LOVED Izzoz. It was a lease issue according to their facebook page. Maybe they'll find somewhere else... I hope.

                                                                              2. re: hlk

                                                                                Izzozs landlord is not renewing the lease. They are looking for a new home. Stay tuned.

                                                                                1. re: hlk

                                                                                  Izzoz re-opens next weekend at their new location - 1503 S. 1st St.

                                                                                2. Longhorn PoBoys and the adjacent coffee shop are completely empty with a handwritten "closed" sign on the door. RIP super gyro.

                                                                                  1. Add Sodade Coffee shop to the list.

                                                                                    Was there a few weeks ago and saw that he had changed the hours to close at 4pm... but hadn't been back since with the holidays and everything. Was there Friday only to find a hand written sign on the door saying they were closing....

                                                                                    Just not a great location, me thinks, and while the coffee was pretty great (second favorite vanilla latte in town) it just never felt comfortable in there. I always got my coffee to go. Too bad though, seemed like a really nice guy. Will miss it.