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:
The Austin-based theater chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema announced on March 3 that it has filed for bankruptcy and will close two of its Texas locations. These include the Downtown Austin location and its New Braunfels location.
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."
B.D. Riley's Pub announced on Aug. 26, that it will be closing its Sixth Street location after 20 years, choosing not to renew the lease. The pub's Aldrich Street location in the Mueller neighborhood will remain open.
"We end our downtown run after making merriment and memories that will last a lifetime, and serving up nearly 400,000 Perfect Pints™ of Guinness," the pub said in a Facebook post. "In addition, we have hosted 8 Weddings, 4 Wakes, more than 8,000 live music performances, and hopefully, brought a bit of joy and created fond memories for the many friends and guests who have joined the fun."
Austin's largest bead store, Bead It, announced its closure on Sept. 24 after 18 years of business in South Austin.
The business cited challenges of rising rent, increased property taxes and costly building repairs as reasons for its closure. However, owners will be seeking opportunities to continue operating beyond its brick-and-mortar location.
A farewell sale will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 26 and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 27.
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."
Buffalo Billiards, a pool and billiard hall located on Austin’s Sixth Street, announced Sept. 21 on Facebook it was closing it doors.
"After 21 years on historic Sixth Street, Buffalo Billiards has made the difficult decision to close for good. We appreciate the support that we have always received from the Austin community and cherish the memories of numerous SXSW acts (good and bad – remember the singing tree?) and thousands of private events – including one wedding, friendly competitions on the tables, and too many UT games to count. Buffalo Billiards has been a home away from home and a second family for many wonderful employees and regulars. We will miss you. Thank you for spending time with us.
Tina, Jesse, Chris, and Curt"
Burger University, located on the Square in Georgetown, announced on Sept. 4 it will be closing permanently. The restaurant said the building it is housed in will be sold and a "new concept will soon fill its hallowed halls."
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.
Cane Russo, located at 4715 South Lamar Blvd. #103, closed in late May because of staffing struggles. The restaurant posted on Facebook, "Who knew that coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic would prove more difficult than operating DURING it." Cane Russo's Dallas location is still open.
Staff at Cap City Comedy Club told the Austin American-Statesman on Sept. 8, 2020, that they would be closing for good after more than 30 years in business in North Austin.
However, in February 2021, the venue announced it would be reopening in the fall at a new location at The Domain.
Cow Tipping Creamery closed its only Austin location in May. The shop announced the closing of the location at 4715 South Lamar Blvd. on Instagram, saying in part, "Unfortunately, after a dismal year of business during COVID, followed by a predictably bad winter season and an unexpectedly slow Spring, the business just cannot survive at this location any longer."
The locations in Frisco and Fort Worth remain open.
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."
Dirty Dog Bar at 505 E. Sixth Street announced that its lease is set to expire on Monday, Aug. 31, and "signing a new lease right now at a rate that won't allow us to be profitable is just not an option that makes sense."
The bar cited lost revenue from "the loss of SXSW, Rot Rally, summer tourism and more due to COVID" as the reason for its closure, but said staff continue to search for a new location and hope the bar can reopen somewhere else "when the bar ban and COVID restrictions have eased up."
On Sept. 18, Easy Tiger bake shop announced it would be closing down its downtown location on Sixth Street as it prepares to open a new store in South Austin.
"As one door closes for Easy Tiger, another is about to open," Easy Tiger wrote on Facebook. "This is a bittersweet moment. 6th Street is our home, where we baked our first loaves of bread and poured our first craft beers. So much good has come from that scrappy little Bake Shop and Beer Garden, and there’s still so much more to come."
Easy Tiger said it plans to return to Downtown Austin in some form in the future.
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.
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."
Hancock Barber Shop
After 55 years in business, the Hancock Barber Shop in Central Austin served its last customers on Aug. 29. The barbershop's owner said the coronavirus has made business slow down, and after five decades, he said it's time to close up shop.
“I didn't want to do it, but I had to,” said barber John Cornejo. “I had no choice but to close because of this.”
The owner said some of his customers have been getting their hair cut at Hancock Barber Shop for decades, so they're like family to him.
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."
This North Austin shop that specializes in vintage clothing, jewelry and handbags is closing on Dec. 31. Store stylist, Gwen Stacy, said COVID-19 has had a devastating ripple effect on the economy.
"It's definitely hurting, people are staying home on top of people not having people to spend because they've been laid off, they just don't have anywhere to go so they don't want to come and shop," Stacy said.
Holy Roller announced on Oct. 18 it would be closing. See their announcement on Instagram below:
I Luv Video is closing its location at 4803 Airport Boulevard, owner Conrad Bejarano announced on Sept. 1. Bejarano said in a social media post that he must close the location, but it would bring him "the utmost joy to pass the torch to a group or an individual that has the financial capacity" to preserve the store's catalog of films.
Bejarano included his phone number on the post for anyone interesting in helping "continue Austin's video store legacy."
I Luv Video closed its Guadalupe Street location in 2015.
Kyoten has closed its Austin location, according to the Mueller restaurant's Instagram account.
"Kyoten Sushiko has made the difficult decision to close our doors permanently," the post states. "Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us over the last year and a half. Every one of you has become like family to us, and we are so incredibly thankful and humbled that you have allowed us to be a part of your lives. We have loved every moment of it."
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.
Tumble 22, a hot chicken restaurant, has now opened at this location.
Austin-based event promoter Margin Walker announced it would be shutting down on Dec. 14:
For most of us in “the biz,” March marked the beginning of the close of live entertainment, which continues now, and will continue for a long time to come.
The uncertainty and lack of resources have hammered down on those working in this world from venues to artists to festivals, promoters, and beyond.
Even with strategic changes in the business, painful staff cuts, and taking loans and grants, sadly, we at Margin Walker Presents have not been immune, and it breaks our hearts to announce that this wild ride has come to an end, and we are closing the business, as of this week.
Being both passionate about what we do and also the largest independent promotion company in Texas has made this a very tough decision, but one that, essentially, made itself.
Since 2016 we’ve had the privilege of booking and promoting over 3,500 shows across Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston. We want to personally thank you for supporting those artists and venues. Please continue to do so when things start to come back online, they’re going to need it more than ever.
Y’all have made the past 4 years an incredible time in our lives.
Stay happy, healthy, and keep your heads held high. At the end of the day, this is one small piece of the puzzle of this music community.
We’ll see you on the dance floor again soon.
Maria's Taco Xpress on South Lamar Boulevard has chosen to sell the business after facing rising property taxes and increased competition, according to KVUE's partners at Austin 360.
Owner Maria Corbalan told Austin 360 she sold to an unnamed buyer but she believes they will turn the space into a "nice restaurant."
The sale is expected to be finalized in early November. The real estate firm Weitzman Group is representing the buyers.
“I'm mentally appreciative of all the love I received when I was down and when I was high,” Corbalan told Austin 360. “I’m leaving sad, but I’m leaving happy, because I’ve met so many friends and supporters and beautiful people.”
The report states Maria's will continue to serve takeout and patio dining through the end of the year and that the name of the restaurant will live on. Corbalan said she would pass on the name and restaurant equipment to her employees of 20 years and that she has already purchased a trailer in hopes that she can continue her legacy elsewhere.
After more than 40 years in business, the owners of Mother's Cafe have decided not to renew their restaurant's lease and will close down.
The restaurant opened in June 1980 and served vegan and vegetarian food.
"Like most restaurants, almost every restaurant, our business plummeted when we switched to take-out only. It really wasn't going to sustain the restaurant long-term," John Silberberg, one of the restaurant's owners, said Thursday.
They had waited to see whether things would improve as the pandemic progressed, but Silberberg said it just wasn't possible to wait any longer.
"It seemed more clear that the bridge to safe dining out is longer than we'll be able to span. There's not a way that we could continue take-out only and cover costs, pay a reasonable rent to our landlords out of consideration to them and have our staff be safe," he said.
The restaurant will remain open until Saturday, Oct. 24.
MugShots, located on East Seventh Street in Downtown Austin, announced on Sept. 13 that it is permanently closing after 18 years. In a Facebook post, the bar thanked its customers and staff members for their dedication and paid tribute to the "family of bars" it belonged to.
"MugShots was the beginning of what has turned out to be one of the most amazing family of bars this lovely city has produced," the bar wrote on Facebook. "We’re sure we have all had one of the best nights in our lives at either MugShots, The Hideout Pub, Bender Bar & Grill, Pour House Pub, Violet Crown Social Club, Pour House Pints & Pies and Hitmaker Brewing Company."
The bar didn't elaborate on the specific reasons for its closing, saying, "We could go into reasons for our decision or cast blame, but that is NOT the MugShots way!"
The popular East Austin bar and venue announced its permanent closure on Sept. 11.
The North Door thanked its dedicated and loyal staff members, clients and customers in a heartfelt Facebook post:
"It is you who inspired us to create the venue that is The North Door. We built our calendar around the community. Our goal was to cultivate an atmosphere where people are allowed to be themselves, and where they can feel at home."
The post states the business will be back in the future but under another name. Pueblo Viejo, the taco restaurant inside of The North Door, remains open.
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.
After nearly 17 years in business, One-2-One Bar announced they would be selling the bar on Aug. 20.
The bar made the announcement on Facebook:
"One-2-One was never about the location, whether it was our downtown space or the south Lamar location. It was always about the people, the staff, and the relationships formed because of the atmosphere created. Whether it was people meeting and ultimately marrying because they met at One-2-One (many couples did this, it was a running joke for years that if you worked for us you’d meet your spouse) or just meeting people that would end up being life-long friends, it was always about the people and the relationships that were formed. Those can’t be erased, the bar may be gone, but the people we have all met and the friendships created will never go away."
On Sept. 18, the same day Easy Tiger said it would be shuttering its Downtown Austin location, P. Terry's said it too would be closing its restaurant downtown.
The location at 515 Congress Ave. will close starting Sept, 18 at 2 p.m. The company sited the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on downtown business and tourism as the cause.
“With offices and hotels virtually empty in the downtown area, we have seen a dramatic drop in sales and traffic over the last several months,” said P. Terry’s CEO Todd Coerver. “Unfortunately, the location is no longer financially viable for us, so we have made the difficult decision to close.”
The company has offered all of its crew members relocation to another site.
"This setback will not deter us from our growth plan,” Coerver added. “We remain on track to open two more locations this fall in Pflugerville and New Braunfels.”
Pink Avocado Catering announced on Sept. 9 that it would be closing immediately due to the pandemic.
"We’ve seen the writing on the wall and the loss of revenue due to the cancellation of live events is unsustainable for us at this time. As our industry colleagues know, live events have been one of the hardest-hit industries and will likely be one of the last to recover," the post states. "We're proud to have been the choice for thousands of bridal couples, numerous festival producers, and countless social and corporate clients. Recent moves to cut operating costs and pivot to curbside delivery were short-term solutions but unsustainable as the pandemic continues to negatively affect lives and businesses across the country."
The kitchen will close on Sept. 11.
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."
Sellers Underground, a popular LGBTQ+ bar on Fourth Street, announced it will be permanently closing as COVID-19 restrictions have "made it impossible" for the bar to continue operating. Sellers Underground made the closure announcement a few days short of its four-year anniversary.
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."
Snap Kitchen, a healthy prepared meals company based in Austin, is closing 14 of its Texas locations, including the one on West Parmer Lane in the Avery Ranch neighborhood. The locations on Sixth Street, Airport Boulevard and William Cannon Drive will remain open.
"We're grateful to be able to continue serving our incredible customers and community through our remaining Texas retail locations, in select Whole Foods markets, or by contactless delivery direct to your door," Snap Kitchen said in a Facebook post.
According to the Austin Business Journal, Snap Kitchen is keeping one location each open in Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston but is closing all of the other locations in those areas.
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."
Veggie Heaven, a vegetarian Chinese restaurant, posted on its Facebook page that it is closing for good due to the ongoing struggles brought on by the pandemic.
"We are so grateful to everyone who has made the experience of running this restaurant unforgettable," the restaurant said on Facebook. "While the prospect of closing is a sad one, we thank everyone who has become part of the Veggie Heaven Family. Thank you Austin for so many great years !!"
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.
Victoria's Cleaners, located in the Allandale Village Shopping Center on the corner of Burnet Road and Koenig Lane in Central Austin, briefly closed after more than 18 years due to COVID-19 taking away business. However, it is now open and running again after being purchased.
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.
On Oct. 16, Alamo Drafthouse announced that the lobby of Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar will become the home of "Video Vortex South Lamar," powered by Vulcan Video South. Starting sometime in 2021, movie lovers will be able to rent up to two movies for a week – for free. After that, renters will incur late fees.
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