Clarksville institution Nau’s Enfield Drug closed its diner on 1115 West Lynn Street due staffing struggles, as reported by CultureMap Austin, since mid-January. The pharmacy and store remain operational.
“I have never wanted to give up hope,” wrote owner Lauren Labay in a letter sent to patrons and friends, which was obtained by CultureMap, but that she is unsure when the restaurant will resume.
The diner and soda fountain shop have been in trouble for some time. Labay brought up competition from other neighborhood restaurants (like Galaxy Cafe, Zocalo, and Caffe Medici, which are all on the same street), and a shortage of full-time cooks and servers, a problem faced by many restaurants in Austin.
Nau’s opened in 1951 and was bought in 1971 by pharmacist Lambert Labay, Lauren’s father, who promised to maintain the soda fountain as part of the purchase. He suffered a heart attack in 2016, at which point Lauren took over. The diner served breakfast items like waffles and breakfast tacos, sandwiches, and burgers, and was known for its old-fashioned shakes and malts.
While Labay is not inclined to sell Nau’s, as CultureMap reported, she is considering options like investment from a restaurant group or crowdfunding. The Nau’s lease is up in 2020.
- Iconic Clarksville pharmacy may have flipped its last burger as trouble looms [CultureMap Austin]
- All Coverage of Nau’s Enfield Drug [EATX]