AUSTIN, Texas — As restaurants were forced to shutter their doors due to the coronavirus that struck in March, many Austin businesses were not able to survive the lack of customers.
Even though state orders were later revised to allow for to-go and deliveries, it still wasn't enough to save a handful of businesses in the Austin area.
Here's a running list of locations we will continue to update as the pandemic wears on:
Austin Java is closing three of its locations, the coffee shop announced on Aug. 4. The City Hall, Met Center and Dripping Springs locations are permanenly closing, but the location at 5404 Menchaca Rd. will remain open. Austin Java said it hopes to "find some new spots to rebuild post-COVID."
Music venue and bar Barracuda, on 611 E. Seventh Street in the Red River Cultural District, announced on Wednesday, June 10, it will permanently close. Music venues have been especially hard hit, with live music unlikely to resume as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
"The time has come for Barracuda Club to bid adieu," Barracuda wrote on social media. "From the incredible artists to our amazing staff, we thank you for making us part of your lives for the last five years. For our going away party, we ask that you share a memory with #Barrys4ever."
According to a post on Facebook on May 1, Blue Dahlia Bistro is closing its East Austin location after 13 years.
The cafe's other two locations in San Marcos and West Lake Hills will remain open, the restaurant said.
“With the heaviest of hearts, we regret to announce our original East Side location will not be reopening. Thank you, Austin, for the 13 years of happy hours, brunches, and all the great memories. It was an honored to be part of this East Side community,” the Facebook post said.
Botticelli's restaurant on South Congress Avenue said it would be closing permanently on July 26.
"We don't have the words currently to tell you how much this community has meant to us," the restaurant wrote in a social media post. "We are so grateful to everyone who has ever walked through our doors."
On May 7, North Austin gay bar BT2 posted on social media that it would be closing for good.
After launching a GoFundMe campaign to keep afloat, the bar provided the following statement:
"We are saddened to have to permanently close our doors. A proper love letter to all our customers (bt2 family) will come...in the meantime, contribute if you can. If you can’t we understand the hardships many of you may have and if you already contributed, your generosity is deeply appreciated."
According to The Austin Chronicle, the popular coffee shop will be closing its newest location at East Seventh Street and Shady Lane.
Founder Jason Sabala told The Chronicle the decision was an easy one, allowing him to focus on the preservation of the larger Buzz Mill business.
Buzz Mill has another location on Riverside Drive.
The Manor restaurant Cafe 290 announced they would be calling it quits on June 17.
"Unfortunately we will be closing our doors Fathers Day June 21st," they wrote on Facebook. "Please come by and support your cooks and waitresses this last week. Don't be afraid to tip the cooks, they won't bite unless you want them to. We will have a final closing party Wednesday, June 24th. This will be a private event open to all our close friends, family and vendors that supported us these past 5 years. Please give your name and email address to Skeeter Simpson if you'd like to attend."
After 62 years in business, Austin's Dart Bowl announced on July 14 it is closing down for good. Its last day in business will be July 17.
Dart Bowl cited the economic impact of the pandemic as a reason for its closure.
“This is a terrible loss for our family and for Austin, but a pandemic that keeps people home is also keeping them away from local entertainment options,” said Dart Bowl co-owner John Donovan. “This is the toughest thing we’ve ever had to do as business owners, but it was our only option.”
The Dart Bowl Café will also be closing down permanently. However, the company's Highland Lanes and Westgate Lanes will remain open.
“It’s tough to let this place go, but it’s worse to say goodbye to people like Peggy Zamarippa who has worked here for nearly sixty years,” concluded Donovan. “We all look forward to folks who have enjoyed the place making one last visit, rolling one last game, eating one last order of enchiladas before we shut it down Friday.”
On Friday, June 17, Daruma Ramen announced it was permanently closing due to the impact of COVID-19.
"We want to thank the community for the undying support of our chicken broth ramen throughout the last 7 years," said co-owner Kayo Asazu in an emailed announcement to CultureMap. "Sadly, it has come time for us to move on to greener pastures. Due to COVID-19, Daruma Ramen will not be opening back up. This was a very tough decision to make, but we know it's the right one."
After 40 years in business, the Clarksville neighborhood's El Interior announced it would be closing its doors on June 15. Owner Marcia Lucas announced she is ready to retire.
The store will be holding a liquidation sale, with all handmade women's clothing, textiles, accessories and furniture accent pieces to be sold out by Aug. 8.
The popular Mexican food joint that often crowded streets off of West Anderson Lane announced on Facebook it would be permanently closing on April 19.
After the death of a family member, COVID-19 struck, which led the owners to decide not to renew their upcoming lease.
"Before his death, we already knew that when our lease ended, June 2020, we would have no intention of signing a new lease," they wrote. "This decision has been in the works for over a year and has nothing to do with our landlord, he’s been fair to us all these years. This was our decision."
But they said due to the virus, they would be closing earlier than planned. However, family members are in talks to buy the business back.
Popular West Campus deli Fricano's announced in late April it too would be shuttering.
"We are deeply saddened to announce, despite every effort to make it work, that we will have to close our doors permanently," said the owners in a Facebook post.
Many University of Texas students were also saddened by the news, taking to Twitter to share their thoughts and feelings on the loss.
On July 6, Full English in South Austin announced it would be permanently closing on Sunday, July 19.
"We have fought hard and struggled on through the lockdown and restrictions, but it recently became clear that we could not afford to continue," the restaurant posted on Facebook.
The South Austin tattoo parlor announced its closure on Instagram on Aug. 7.
"Golden Age Tattoo is closing
While I know I did my best, I also know my best sometimes isn’t enough.
I can’t thank everyone enough for the 8yrs of support. It means the world to me that anyone believed in my endeavor in any capacity.
I will continue to tattoo of course. I’m not sure where at the moment but I will inform my clients via email when the time comes. All appointments still stand unless we email you otherwise.
Thank y’all so much for supporting my art. I appreciate y’all."
Tiffany Thornton, a partner with the North Austin events center Hanovers 2.0, confirms that the old Hanovers 2.0 is no longer and is being bought out by a funeral home. She said it was a business move and Encore ATX will reopen at a new location once Texas "truly opens back up."
On Thursday, May 14, chef James Holmes confirmed with our partners at The Austin American-Statesman that Lucy's Fried Chicken in Lakeway has closed permanently.
Holmes told The Statesman the restaurant had struggled since dining rooms were forced to close in March and without the rush of spring break customers. Lucy's Fried Chicken has occupied the space on Lake Travis since it took over from Iguana Grill in 2016.
The restaurant's South Congress, Burnet Road and Cedar Park locations have all reopened with limited capacity seating after Gov. Greg Abbott allowed the state's stay-at-home order to expire on May 1.
Like Buzz Mill, Magnolia Cafe is also closing one of its locations.
On April 17, KVUE reported that the owners cited financial issues related to the pandemic as the reason it decided to close down its Lake Austin Boulevard location.
The popular South Congress Avenue location will remain in operation.
The North Austin brewpub North by Northwest, much like the similarly named South by Southwest festival, was also hit hard by the pandemic this year.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, the 20-year-old restaurant and craft beer connoisseur is also closing down permanently.
The ridesharing company RideAustin announced its farewell via email on June 12:
"Four years ago - we set out on a mission to offer a unique service, full of heart, to the Austin community. It's been an amazing ride - 3,000,000 rides to be exact! We feel incredibly grateful to have been embraced by the Austin community and to have played a small part in helping raise over $450,000 for local Austin nonprofits!
With a heavy heart - we will now be saying goodbye. We can’t thank you, our loyal riders, enough. Thank you for being with us throughout this incredible journey!
While we are sad to be closing our doors - it's amazing to see how much of a difference we have made together in the Austin community. With your help - we’ve been able to create the world’s only nonprofit rideshare, opened the door to rideshare data for researchers, created new industry innovations such as the charity Round-up and Female driver mode, partnered with CapMetro to offer new innovative services, partnered with the Community Care Collaborative to offer medical rides to the underprivileged, provided free rides to Veterans, partnered with countless charities to deliver their services, published rideshare code to the software community for free to enable others to start their own on demand services, and so much more…
A special thank you to all the riders that elected to Round-up to local charities. RideAustin was built with Austin values in mind - and we were grateful to have helped harness the giving spirit of the Austin community."
Austin360's report stated that Shady Grove was home to the longest-running free live music series in Austin, Unplugged at the Grove.
Sky Cinemas of Dripping Springs announced on its website that it too has closed permanently due to rent problems caused by COVID-19. Read its full statement below:
"We regret to announce that Sky Cinemas has closed permanently.
We closed our business temporarily on March 18, 2020, the day a Hays County court issued an order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 persons. We supported that order as we support all efforts to manage this public health crisis.
We had eagerly looked forward to the day when we could safely re-open Sky Cinemas. Sadly, that day will not come. With our business closed due to COVID and no revenue coming in, we were unable to pay our rent. We attempted to reach an arrangement with our landlord that would allow us to stay, but we failed to do so, and our lease was terminated.
We love Dripping Springs, and are proud of what we built with this community. We set out to develop the finest family cinema ever created. We sought to establish a place where Dripping Springs’ families would come together as a community. Our cinema became what we hoped it would.
The landlord is now looking for a replacement cinema operator. We hope that the new operator will build upon what we started and will continue to deliver to Dripping Springs the level of cinema experience it deserves.
And last but not least, we are grateful to our Sky Cinemas team members. These wonderful people are passionate about this community and worked hard every day to deliver the finest cinema experience to everyone who walked through our doors.
Thank you for your support, Dripping Springs. We will miss you. We are proud to have been your cinema."
Before COVID-19 struck, retail stores were already struggling, but the pandemic has expedited the closing of yet another beloved store: Teacher Heaven, located on 8650 Spicewood Springs Road.
"Well, it's been a long time coming," said Teacher Heaven owner Susan Savoy.
After 24 years of providing teachers and students with supplies to express their creativity in the classroom, Savoy said she is closing down the last Teacher Heaven for good.
To old Austin's dismay, the iconic music venue and eatery Threadgill's also fell victim to COVID-19.
It's original North Lamar location will officially be closing its doors. Threadgill's World Headquarters, its second lcoation on Riverside Drive, closed in late 2018.
Legends like Janis Joplin and ZZ Top have all made appearances at Threadgill's "Old No. 1."
Nestled at Burnet and U.S. 183, Veracruz is closing down one of its brick-and-mortar locations as developers make way for a new condominium development.
But don't fear, the tasty tacos will still be available in East Austin, South Austin and Round Rock.
Vulcan Video, yet another Austin original, will also be closing up shop.
"Despite the community support and the enduring value of our film collection, the business, as it is, does not generate the income to support itself. It's the perfect storm to call it a day," wrote co-owner Dian Donnell in an email to employees.
The video store first opened in 1985, when VHS tapes had first hit the shelves.
“Thank you to all the customers because they made this happen. If they hadn’t come in and rented movies, it wouldn’t have lasted at all," Donnell told KVUE.
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