Co-owner Arik Skot Williams shared with Eater that the closure, announced on Facebook, “came down to a question of finances and location.” Despite providing high-cost dishes like hand-pulled mozzarella, Rotten struggled to attract diners from outside the northern Austin area and fill seats during the weekdays. Williams explained that ultimately, they weren’t willing to compromise on quality to lower costs, which led to the shutter decision.
Those mourning the Rotten Bunch will likely head to its sister restaurant, Bartlett’s in North Shoal Creek, or the Cedar Park location of The Grove Wine Bar + Kitchen or Cedro.
Co-owners Williams and Alan Thomas opened the Rotten Bunch in 2015, taking over a former location of Waterloo Ice House. The aim was to be an unpretentious wine bar that made wine accessible. The restaurant served wine-friendly foods like cheese boards, salads, pastas, and venison. In October 2018, it added a cocktail menu curated by Austin bar expert Justin Elliott. Rotten Bunch offered a weekend brunch, but it will not serve the daytime meal on its final day.