Essential sandwich shop Fricano’s Deli is now closed permanently on 2405 Nueces Street in the West Campus neighborhood, as announced on Facebook. Co-owners Jamil Muhaisen, DeeAnne Bullard, and Paul Fricano had shuttered the deli temporarily in mid-March, as part of city orders shuttering all restaurant dine-in services in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“We are deeply saddened to announce,” the Facebook post said, “despite every effort to make it work, that we will have to close our doors permanently.”
There will be a social distancing-friendly live stream auction of Fricano’s mementos held on Friday, April 24 on its Facebook page starting at 7 p.m. Fricano will lead the auction and all proceeds are going towards the deli’s employees. He also promises “candid and embarrassing stories” about said employees.
Muhaisen, Bullard, and Fricano opened Fricano’s on East 31st Street in 2006 in the North Campus area. The deli expanded onto Nueces Street in 2011, and the original location shuttered in 2012. Among its plentiful sandwich options, there was the famous Ainsworth, where staffers built a custom sandwich made with the best ingredients of the day.
Fricano’s is the latest Austin restaurant shutter within the past week due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, during a time where businesses are struggling to stay afloat when revenues are extremely low or completely gone and bills still have to be paid. There was Tex-Mex restaurant Enchiladas Y Mas, historic restaurant and live music venue Threadgill’s, all-hours diner Magnolia Cafe’s West Austin restaurant, brewpub North by Northwest’s last remaining location, and Austin taco mini-chain Veracruz All Natural’s North Burnet restaurant.
We are deeply saddened to announce, despite every effort to make it work, that we will have to close our doors permanently.
It is impossible to fully express our gratitude to all of you who have supported us over the years. Some of you have been with us since the early days on Speedway. We have met so many of you in West Campus. We have loved getting to know you, your families, friends and co-workers. We have witnessed the weddings of our customers and our staff, watched your children grow up… We have watched you graduate, move all over the country, find love and success in your lives.... And so many of you have come back to say hello and let us know how you are doing. Our staff feels like family. We can’t emphasize that enough. Working with such incredible people made every day incredibly fun! That’s what has made it so rewarding, but so hard to say goodbye. We will truly miss you all.
We are sad for all those who have been affected by the pandemic, especially those who have lost loved ones. We also know that many of you have been affected economically by this crisis. We wish you the best. Please stay in touch. We want to see how you are and know you are ok. We will keep you abreast of what new adventures surely await each of us. Send pictures, it’s going to be hard to not see your faces every week, some of you every day. We will really miss seeing our UT friends. We really hope that all of you are able to find some normalcy soon.
We love you and miss you already,
Paul, DeeAnne, and Jamil
P.S: I will be doing a live stream auction of Fricano’s memorabilia soon, stay tuned for more details- Paul