High property tax crumbles downtown eatery Carmelo's Italian Restaurant

AUSTIN - After over 30 years in business, a fine dining Italian restaurant is saying Arrivederci to downtown Austin and the high property taxes that accompany it.

The owners of Carmelo's Ristorante, Carmelo Mauro and his wife Hilary, bought the property at 504 East Fifth Street in 1985.

“We have spent 32 wonderful years in Austin,” said owner Carmelo Mauro. “So many things have changed in these three decades. We shared the vision for a redeveloped and revitalized downtown Austin, and we’re so glad to see that accomplished.” 

According to KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman, Carmelo Mauro said it wasn't in their plans to sell the restaurant, but rising property taxes gave them no other option.

Carmelo's location was sold in March to a presumed land developer. Mauro told the Statesman he believes the new owners intend to build a high-rise condominium in the restaurant's place.

To celebrate the restaurant's legacy, the owners are hosting a farewell party June 18 at 5 p.m. The complimentary event is open to the public and will remain open for dinner until 11 p.m.

This isn't the first time in 2017 a veteran Austin restaurant has shut its doors.

 After 60 years in business, El Gallo went out of business at the end of January.

While the South Congress Tex-Mex restaurant didn't specifically cite high property taxes as a reason for its closure, owner Abel Kennedy told KVUE, "It's just time to leave while we're on top rather than on the bottom."

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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