Because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Southern restaurant Olamaie is closing temporarily at 1610 San Antonio Street in downtown Austin. Tonight will be its last service for the time being. Owner and chef Michael Fojtasek is aiming to reopening the restaurant on Friday, May 1, but that’s subject to change.
“We made this decision for the safety of our team and community,” read the Facebook post announcing the brief shutter, “with hopes that acting purposefully now will put us in a place where we can once again open our doors.”
“We are in uncharted territory,” continued the post,” attempting to navigate an impossible situation. We are using our values as a compass.”
The restaurant made sure to note that salaried employees will still be paid, albeit at a “reduced rate,” which doesn’t include hourly employees, but that all employees will receive health benefits through the end of April.
Before deciding to shutter, the restaurant had planned on giving out free biscuits and offering half-off bottles of wine to diners tonight (which is still happening) and tomorrow.
Olamaie joins downtown cocktail bar Small Victory, and the tasting rooms at Deep Eddy and Oddwood Ales as one of the few food and drink businesses that have closed with the hope of lessening the spread of COVID-19 in Austin.