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Downtown Austin Restaurant Is Closed Due to Fire

Forthright is looking into opening a temporary food truck

Fire damage at Forthright
Fire damage at Forthright
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

Essential downtown all-day cafe Forthright fell victim to a blaze last Thursday morning and, as a result of the fire, is currently closed. The restaurant will be closed for at least four to six weeks, said co-owner Elizabeth Swail.

Forthright’s fire started at 10:45 a.m. when a piece of plywood in the ceiling above the stove combusted because of excessive heat. The Austin Fire Department told the restaurant that the fireproofing materials in the area weren’t up to code as a result of an oversight. “Most of the damage is structural and in the ceiling,” Swail said, “but there was a great deal of smoke damage to the interior of the restaurant.”

Since the restaurant is currently closed, Forthright is currently exploring other options to serve guests. Catering and delivery will still be fulfilled from its commissary kitchen, and the restaurant is looking into a temporary food truck or coffee cart in the downtown area.

Forthright opened with chef Ashely Neave in July 2016 for breakfast and lunch. The restaurant expanded into evening hours with dinner last October.

Forthright Cafe’s fire scare
Forthright Cafe’s fire scare
Forthright Cafe/Facebook


35 Brazos Street, , TX 78701 (512) 387-3370 Visit Website