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The Saddest Austin Restaurant Closures of 2017

The year’s most important shutters from a longtime Tex-Mex establishment to a speciality pasta shop

Hudson’s on the Bend
Hudson’s on the Bend
Courtney Pierce/EATX

Yes, Austin’s dining scene keeps expanding, but with growth inevitably comes loss, and the city has seen its fair share of restaurant shutters this year.

While the full roster of shutters is quite extensive, Eater put together a list of the hardest and saddest closures Austin had to suffer through this year. There were the departures of longtime restaurants from Tex-Mex spot El Gallo to Hill Country icon Hudson’s on the Bend, the loss of the generous Nubian Queen Lola’s Cajun Soul Food, and, relatedly, the shutter of chef’s haven Metier.

Everything below is listed in chronological order. And don’t worry, there are more restaurants to come in the near future.

Share your most-missed Austin restaurants within the comments.

El Gallo
El Gallo
El Gallo/Facebook

El Gallo

2910 South Congress Avenue, Dawson
Closed: January 2017

The longtime Tex-Mex restaurant, run by the Kennedy family, shut down earlier this year. Abraham and Maria Kennedy opened the restaurant back in 1957, and their son Abel took it over. The shutter cause? High operating costs.

Where to Eat Instead: Habanero Cafe (501 West Oltorf Street, Dawson), Matt’s El Rancho (2613 South Lamar Boulevard, South Austin), or any of these other Tex-Mex restaurants.

Hudson’s on the Bend
Hudson’s on the Bend
Courtney Pierce/EATX

Hudson’s on the Bend

3509 Ranch Road 620 North, Hudson Bend
Closed: February 2017

The iconic Hill Country restaurant closed after 32 years of service, even after new owners and renovations. Founder Jeff Blank sold the restaurant to chef Billy Caruso and advanced sommelier Chris McFall, who temporarily closed Hudson’s for sprucing. It reopened to great reviews, but that wasn’t enough to keep the restaurant running.

Where to Eat Instead: Apis Restaurant & Apiary (23526 State Highway 71 West, Spicewood).

Nubian Queen Lola’s Cajun Soul Food
Nubian Queen Lola’s Cajun Soul Food
Nubian Queen Lola's Cajun Soul Food/Facebook

Nubian Queen Lola’s Cajun Soul Food

1815 Rosewood Avenue, Central East Austin
Closed: June 2017

Owner Lola Stephens-Bell has a big heart, and it showed with her Cajun soul food restaurant, She kept herself busy by cooking and feeding the homeless regularly. Alas, she left Austin to bring her efforts to Taylor, Texas.

Where to Eat Instead: For charitable dining, My Name Is Joe Coffee Co. (501 Colorado Street, Downtown) employs those in recovery, as well as donates 1.2 percent of its sales to an addiction treatment center's restaurant out in Smithville. For Cajun fare, head to Evangeline Cafe (8106 Brodie Lane, South Austin).

Porfirio’s Tacos
Porfirio’s Tacos
Isabelle E./Yelp

Porfirio’s Tacos

1512 Holly Street, East Cesar Chavez
Closed: September 2017

Another 32-year-old institution closed this year with breakfast taco spot Porfirio’s. The cash-only restaurant was known for cheap and spicy breakfast and lunch tacos spanning the usual fillings from chorizo, eggs, potatoes, sausage, carne guisada, to barbacoa.

Where to Eat Instead: Veracruz All Natural (1704 East Cesar Chavez, East Side), Las Trancas (1210 East Cesar Chavez Street, East Side)

House Pizzeria’s pizza
House Pizzeria’s pizza
Antonio F./Yelp

House Pizzeria

5111 Airport Boulevard, North Loop
Closed: September 2017

One of Austin’s essential Neapolitan pizzerias closed this year after over eight years of slinging pies. No specific reason was given for the shutter.

Where to Eat Instead: Until Home Slice opens its second pizzeria in North Loop, hop down to Unit-D Pizzeria (2406 Manor Road, Cherrywood).

Dog & Duck Pub
Dog & Duck Pub
Kurt K./Yelp

Dog & Duck Pub

2400 Webberville Road, East Austin
Closed: November 2017

Campus favorite Dog & Duck Pub was given a second life in East Austin, but that wasn’t enough to keep it going. The bar closed because of outstanding rent.

Where to Eat Instead: Nosh & Bevvy (8440 Burnet Road, North Shoal Creek)

Cuban Sandwich Cafe’s sandwich
Cuban Sandwich Cafe’s sandwich
Crystal P./Yelp

Cuban Sandwich Cafe

1804 Briarcliff Boulevard, Windsor Park
Closed: November 2017

The underrated Cuban restaurant, known for stellar sandwiches and regional specialties, closed its doors this year. However, owners David and Mary will flip the space into a pizzeria and sandwich shop, Rocco's Pizza and Subs. Let's hope that those Cuban sandwiches will remain.

Where to Eat Instead: Cuba 512 (6800 Westgate Boulevard, South Austin)

La Dolda’s pastas
La Dolda’s pastas
La Dolda/Facebook

La Dolda

4238 Bee Caves Road, Westlake
Closed: December 2017

The pasta shop closed up after making dried and fresh noodles for the past seven months. Austin’s loss is Boston’s gain, though, as owner Matteo Gallizio is moving La Dolda to the Massachusetts capital next year.

Where to Eat Instead: It’s Italian Cucina (1500 South Lamar Boulevard, Zilker)

Honorable Mention

Metier Cook’s Supply
Metier Cook’s Supply
Metier/Facebook

Metier

1805 South First Street, Bouldin
Closed: April 2017

Lenoir’s specialty cooking shop Metier, known for its extensive cookbook collection, closed in the spring. The South First street restaurant held onto the space and turned it into a private event and dining facility.

Where to Shop Instead: For cookware and products, Kettle & Brine (908 West 12th Street, Downtown); for cookbooks, BookPeople (603 North Lamar Boulevard, Downtown)

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