Chef/owner Callie Speer’s downtown Austin diner Holy Roller is closing, as she announced on social media. The 509 Rio Grande Street restaurant is taking a pause this week, and will host its last weekend brunch service this weekend, October 24 and 25, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.
Holy Roller was known for its funky menu and punk rock vibes, from the indulgent and nostalgic dishes, like the migas kolaches, grilled cheese sandwich loaded with avocado slices, decadent French toasts, and biscuits galore. The space featured fun art (a portrait of Iggy Pop), neon (crosses), chalkboard art, and the giant light-up crown from former Red River bar Club de Ville. The restaurant was even on Guy Fieri’s Food Network television show Triple D. Speer was also a a big proponent of raising money for nonprofits through events, like its pie-eating contests and anniversary parties.
During the pandemic and the dining room closures, Holy pivoted to curbside pickups, added family-style brunch boxes, and, in the spring, offered deliverable meal kits through Assembly Kitchen. The dining room later reopened for dine-in service, while still offering a takeout menu.
Speer, who was Eater Austin’s chef of the year in 2017, opened the restaurant that July with the goal of doing something different. In Holy’s closing announcement, she writes: “I wanted to preserve a piece of the soul of the city that I love so dearly, and give you guys something a little against the grain.” The opening team of the restaurant featured some of the city’s best female hospitality experts, including bar manager Jen Keyser, assistant bar manager Nicole Cruz, pastry chef Britt Castro, and general manager Sarah Bevil.
While Speer’s Holy chapter is closing, she is working on a bunch of new projects, according to Austin 360. Before opening the downtown restaurant, she had worked at Hotel Van Zandt, Swift’s Attic, Parkside, and Jeffrey’s, along with other Austin restaurants.
For Holy’s forthcoming final weekend brunch service, the restaurant will highlight its best dishes, from the migas kolache, the double-patty cheeseburger with hash browns to pancakes to cocktails. The restaurant will be open for dine-in and takeout services.