Departure Lounge, the upscale downtown cafe where people could grab glasses of wine and/or book vacations, is shutting down at the end of July. This doesn’t mean it is gone forever: owner Keith Waldon is opening a new location within the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport instead.
Departure’s airport location is taking over a current retail space (near one of the musical performance areas). It will serve up coffee, wine, beer, and an expanded menu of bites, from cheese and chocolates to sandwiches and pastries. The new iteration of Departure is expected to open in late December.
Departure is also opening an actual travel agency location (sans drink and food) in West Austin because Waldon hoped to be closer to clientele. It’s expected to complete construction mid-August in The Village at Westlake shopping center off 360. In between serving snacks, the airport location will promote the Westlake services, though travel advisors will not be on hand. If it proves successful, he hopes to expand to other airports in the future.
Departure Lounge opened in 2013 with the idea of combining a wine bar, coffee shop, and travel agency, all looking to attract a new generation to travel services.
The airport is undergoing a lot of changes lately, with new wine bar I Vini, an expansion of The Salt Lick, a new branch of Second Bar + Kitchen and the recently-opened South Terminal, complete with food trucks.