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RIP V

Drove by Olivia on South Lamar last night and it was dark and closed with all the furniture stacked up on top of the tables. Have they shut down?

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  1. Haven't heard. Maybe Lucy's is making too much dough. That was a tough location for that kinda restaurant. There's chatter that Romeo's might be shut down too. Conflicting messages on Facebook.

    1. One quick phone call verifies that Olivia is alive and well. Do you suppose they were cleaning?

      1. I guess it's possible but it 6pm on Fat Tuesday. Thanks for checking.

        1. Looks like Estancia Churrascaria in Sunset Valley is closed. Sign is gone and a temporary banner said something like "Royal Indian Cuisine Coming Soon".

          3 Replies
            1. re: addlepated

              when i was first reading about it, two locations at opposite ends of town seemed to be the goal. maybe they are scaling back due to the economy, or something.

              1. re: dinaofdoom

                Rob Balon said they couldn't agree on lease terms for the south location.

          1. Artz Rib House has been closed for 2 days. Anyone know what's going on?

            29 Replies
              1. re: topeater

                Maybe it's a Post-SXSW holiday break. The BBQ restaurants get slammed during SXSW.

                1. re: topeater

                  Apparently it's really closed. Farewell messages on their facebook and the bar is cleaned out. I only went there once and wasn't impressed.

                  1. re: Rptrane

                    Yeah I'm not surprised... the food was ok, but as mentioned before, they've had several scares over the years. I think a couple years ago, they even had some kind of "Save Artz" benefit fundraiser kind of thing. That's a pretty strong sign you're not running a good business...

                    1. re: popvulture

                      Nonetheless a bummer... it always makes me sad to see a long-standing, local institution go under.

                      1. re: popvulture

                        I'm sad people are out of work but there are so many good places to eat in ATX, I barely get to go back to the good ones. The mediocre ones have almost no shot unless they are in a great location.

                    2. re: Rptrane

                      I got pissed off at them for two reasons:

                      They consistently served pork butt shoulder "ribs" instead of pork loin country ribs. When I took photos and them to them to them, they admitted - "Yes, out supplier sometimes throws those in when they are short loin ribs.". They said they'd make it up to me, which they didn't - they served more more pork shoulder and charged me full price.

                      Two: The resulting gift certificate from above was given to friend and they wouldn't' honor it saying it had already been used. It hadn't.

                      Screw Artz. Good riddance. Pfft.

                      -sw

                    3. re: topeater

                      They haven't been able to negotiate a new lease.

                      1. re: achtungpv

                        In the statesman today it said they filed for bankruptcy. They owed about 300K in back taxes. That's a lot of ribs to sell.

                        1. re: TroyTempest

                          ...and a lot of years of not paying taxes. wow.

                          1. re: dinaofdoom

                            Apparently the guy's wife got cancer. Medical bills can clean out anybody. Throw in some early withdrawals of retirement money and you have tax problems.

                            1. re: Rptrane

                              yeah that's true. I'll miss them. Yeah, i know there's better BBQ in town, but I really liked the beef ribs and the vegetarians in my family liked the sides.

                              1. re: Rptrane

                                They had owned taxes and were in the hole even before the wife (Chernoble? That was the named used in email) was diagnosed with cancer.

                                -sw

                            2. re: TroyTempest

                              And they'll still have 300K to make up since bankruptcy doesn't protect you from paying back taxes.

                              1. re: sqwertz

                                The AAS said "back wages," not taxes.

                                1. re: rudeboy

                                  Actually it says both:

                                  "The bankruptcy filing indicates that the business owes $303,000 in back wages and taxes and has assets of $23,400."
                                  this is from
                                  http://www.statesman.com/news/local/a...

                                  I'd think if you owed that much in back wages alone that eventually it would be hard to get people to work for you

                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                    Funny, in my hast to correct, I didn't see that part! Owing taxes is one thing, but if people lost wages.....that's another.

                                    1. re: TroyTempest

                                      That was pretty much the same story about 3 years ago when they shut down. Taxes and wages. I thought the employees took part ownership of the restaurant back then IIRC. It's all sort of fuzzy. I know I stopped going there a few months earlier then the first closing, which is a shame because I did just discover they had decent beef ribs.

                                      1. re: sqwertz

                                        Steve, head to JMueller BBQ for your beef rib fix. I have no doubt he has the best beef ribs in the city right now.

                                        1. re: TheBadWolf

                                          Stiles Switch is a close second or even tie when they bring their A game.

                                          1. re: TheBadWolf

                                            I get ribs from John every so often - he knows of my short rib fetish. Was there a week or two ago and picked up 3 short ribs for [drum roll] $35. Ouch. I don't think John sells the wimpy back ribs (I call them soup bones).

                                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/sqwertz/...
                                            (Taken with lousy cell phone cam

                                            )

                                            I also smoke short ribs at home. I get bulk untrimmed short ribs from HEB pretty cheap in 4racks x 4rib slabs.

                                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/sqwertz/...

                                            -sw

                                            1. re: sqwertz

                                              So, just to clarify, that was $35 for what was in the picture?

                                              1. re: TroyTempest

                                                With pickles and sauce, yep. It was $32 when John weighed them and called out the price, then when the cashier didn't hear what he said she weighed them again and it came out to $38-something. We split the difference. Includes tax. I'll be doing my own short ribs from now on at $2.38/lb - waste/shrinkage + lump charcoal. I can't see paying $14/lb for short ribs - any more when I'm pretty capable myself. Sorry John. He'll have no trouble selling what I don't buy, so no loss for him.

                                                1. re: sqwertz

                                                  yep, that's pretty steep when you figure that about half that weight is bone

                                                  1. re: TroyTempest

                                                    Bones are pretty light - not very dense. I'll weigh the finished product tomorrow with and without meat just out of curiosity. By weight proportion beef back ribs have the largest bone:meat ratio. Then comes baby back ribs, pork spare ribs, and then short ribs (best edible yield).

                                                    -sw

                                                  2. re: sqwertz

                                                    Stiles Switch charges $13 a pound for beef ribs. Pok-E-Joes charges $13 a pound for pork ribs. Franklin charges $14 a pound for pork ribs. John's prices are in line for Austin.

                                                    1. re: The Tres Leches

                                                      I tend to not order ribs in BBQ restaurants specifically because of the price. The sad part is that ribs are what I want mostly!

                                                      1. re: rudeboy

                                                        Right,
                                                        I never said these prices were out of line. Brisket is just a lot better deal, and even pork ribs, i'd think are less bone weight per amount of meat you get.

                                                    2. re: sqwertz

                                                      Sqwertz,

                                                      Where are you finding untrimmed beef short ribs for $2.38? I've called two HEBs and they've each quoted me $4.18 lb.

                                                      BL