Cantina Laredo, the Mexican chain restaurant right right in downtown Austin, closed suddenly today. According to a statement, it was because of "the amount of competitors that saturated the area and high overhead costs."
Originally, Cantina was slated to close on Saturday, July 23, but, according to the restaurant, the health inspector thought the restaurant was already closed because of miscommunication, and forced the shutter today. Owner Al LoCasico said in the statement:
At some point you have to be realistic with the things you have accomplished and what makes sense with the bottom line […] We had decided to pass the torch on and allow a new concept to enrich the experience of the 2nd Street District.
Another entity will take over the space, but there is no word on what it will be from the 2nd Street District, the organization which oversees the area.
Cantina opened in 2003, run by LoCascio and the Consolidated Restaurant Operations (which runs a bunch of chains, including III Forks in Austin). There are twelve other locations of Cantina throughout the country, including several in Dallas (three of those are within the airports).
This now begs the question of what will take over the location, with the recent and ongoing revitalization of downtown Austin.