CULTUREMAP -- In Austin, eating local may not have the currency it used to have. With the recent openings of Modern Market, Flower Child, North Italia, and Newk’s Eatery downtown, chains have grabbed most of the headlines in the city’s central core. Now, a locally owned anchor of Congress Avenue’s dining scene has decided to end an almost decade-long run.
Annies Cafe & Bar, whose large block letter sign was as much a part of the streetscape as the Paramount’s facade, announced on March 28 that it has sold its downtown property to focus on its trio of concepts at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport: a fast-casual version of Annies, adjacent grab-and-go grocery Farm Aire, and Italian outpost I Vini. The last service for the Congress Annies will be April 22.
Annies was a reincarnation of owner Love Nance’s Apple Annies Cafe, which was a popular downtown lunch destination for 24 years. In 2008, Nance decided to give up her spot in the JP Morgan Chase Tower at 221 W. Sixth St. (soon to be the location of a second location of co-working giant WeWork), in order to open a larger restaurant complete with a prepared foods case and delivery.
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