When Shalou Barth, current owner of Unit D Pizzeria, sought out to develop 2406 Manor Road, also home to Dai Due and Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop, in late 2012, she encountered two strange and old deed restrictions. One, as originally reported by Austin Business Journal, concerned the race of the property owner (read: only white). The second: what type of alcohol could be sold in the area.
Barth, whose parents are Indian, didn’t face any challenges bypassing the first rule. To her, it "was purely shocking in and of itself," she told Eater, "indicative of a deed that was not current with the times." Dated on April 1, 1949, it read:
No part of the premises hereby restricted shall be owned, held by, or rented by any person other than members of the Caucasian race. This restriction shall not prohibit living quarters for servants on said premises.
It was the second regulation, about which types of beer and wine could be sold on the property, that concerned her because it would’ve blocked potential restaurants in the development. "I felt defeated and angry that such an antiquated document," Barth said, "evident from the language used and the racial restrictions, could still be enforceable."
To change it, she originally needed to get every property owner in the area to agree to change the deed within 30 days. She reached out to everyone, and overall, her efforts were well-received. Those who spoke to her were appalled that "there were such outlandish restrictions in the deed for the property they owned," she explained. When she realized that it wasn’t necessary to get every approval, she managed to pass the modifications.
From there, Barth opened the property with Dai Due and Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop in August 2014, with Unit D Pizzeria the following summer after the previous tenant backed out. She always wanted to open her own restaurant, and this was her opportunity to do it, especially after she won money for the pizza oven after competing on The Price is Right.