The COVID-19 pandemic had shuttered dining rooms from mid-March to early May, and now restaurants are either remaining temporarily closed, sticking to takeout service only, or have reopened for limited dine-in service. As a result of diminished sales, Austin is seeing a spate of outright restaurant closures as the industry struggles to stay afloat while having to pay rents, wages, taxes, and other expenses.
Many of the restaurants that have announced they will not reopen are Austin institutions that are over 20, 40, and even — in the case of Threadgill’s — 87 years ago. Many that have announced shutters either did not serve takeout during the pandemic (which was allowed) or only did for a short time. A few restaurant closures, like Veracruz All Natural’s North Austin location, were planned but accelerated due to the strain of operating without a dining room and health concerns around the virus.
This list will be updated as needed. Did Eater miss a permanently shuttered restaurant? Let us know through the tipline or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Magnolia Cafe West: The Lake Austin location of the all-hours Austin chain was the first big-name restaurant to close as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, though the South Congress location is still open. The restaurant opened over 40 years ago as Omelettery West, before becoming Magnolia in 1986, and was known for breakfast specials like gingerbread pancakes and Mag Mud queso. (2304 Lake Austin Boulevard, Lake Austin)
North by Northwest: The North Austin brewery and restaurant closed after 20 years due to novel coronavirus (a second location on Slaughter Lane closed in 2019). Owner David Tucker also operated Red’s Porch, the last of which closed last year. (10010 North Capital of Texas Highway, Quarry)
Veracruz All-Natural: The North Austin restaurant location of the essential taco spot announced it would not reopen. The restaurant was planning to close in June, as the land was being used for condos, but the pandemic sped up the process. The trucks and Round Rock location are still open and serving food-to-go. (9003 Waterford Centre Boulevard, North Burnet)
Threadgill’s: After almost 90 years, iconic Southern restaurant Threadgill’s has closed. Owner Eddie Wilson, who also closed a Riverside location in 2018, plans to sell the building and auction the music memorabilia within. (6416 North Lamar Boulevard, Brentwood)
Fricano’s Deli: The classic West Campus sandwich shop closed after 14 years. Known for crispy pressed sandwiches and a daily staff creation, the owners auctioned off mementos during a Facebook live auction in April to raise money for staff. (2405 Nueces Street, West Campus)
Buzz Mill Coffee Shady: The Govalle location of the 24-hour coffee shop is now closed, reportedly to be in a more secure position to keep The Buzz Mill on East Riverside open. That location is serving takeout, and food trucks JNL Barbecue and vegan dim sum spot Plow Bao have relocated there (Austin Rotisserie is moving to Infinite Monkey Theorem). (5012 East 7th Street, Govalle)
Blue Dahlia: The original East Austin location of the bistro has closed after 13 years (the San Marcos and Westlake locations are open). Co-owner Amy Ramirez said that sales had been declining and COVID-19 exacerbated the situation. (1115 East 11th Street, Central East Austin)
Bout Time 2: The North Austin gay bar closed because owners could no longer pay rent and faced eviction. The bar’s GoFundMe campaign for staff will continue to support staff. (6607 N Interstate 35, St. John’s)
Shady Grove: The sibling restaurant of Chuy’s on Barton Springs Road closed after 28 years in business. It was known for a big, lively patio that hosted live music during the summer.(1624 Barton Springs Road, Zilker)
Chocolaterie Tessa: The European-style chocolatier closed in May. In an email newsletter, owner Tessa Halstead said that “continuing to operate is no longer financially possible.” The shop on Burnet Road opened in 2014 and Tessa had a second, temporary shop in the Domain in 2017. (7425 Burnet Road, Crestview)
Lucy’s on the Lake: The fried chicken mini-chain closed its location on Lake Travis, as the lack of spring break traffic meant the restaurant could not sustain itself financially. The three other locations (South Congress, Burnet Road, and Cedar Park), are still open for takeout and dine-in. Lucy’s on the Lake opened in 2015. (2900 Ranch Rd 620 N, Lake Travis)
Yuyo: The Peruvian restaurant from James Beard Award semi-finalist Maribel Rivero closed in May. Her brother and co-owner Carlos Rivero explained in a statement that the pandemic created an “insurmountable” environment for the higher-end restaurant. Yuyo opened in October 2017 as part of the El Chile group, which includes Tex Mex restaurants El Alma, El Chile, and El Chilito. (1900 Manor Road, Cherrywood)
St. Roch’s Bar: The New Orleans-themed east Austin dive bar closed in June after a decade in businesses. Co-owners Steve Leininger, Chris Mullins, and Miguel Jimenez blamed the closure on “a combination of greedy, ignorant landlords, and the COVID-19 shutdown.” (515 Pedernales Street, Holly)
Cafe Josie: The Clarksville restaurant has closed, as it would be unable to meet an anticipated rent increase. Sister restaurant Industry in San Marcos is still open. (1200 West 6th Street, Clarksville)
The Townsend: The downtown cocktail bar, which won the Eater Award for best new bar in 2015, has closed. The bar had previously been involved with an expansion to Los Angeles and an Austin location of Employees Only, but neither came to fruition. (718 Congress Avenue, Downtown)
Be More Pacific: The Filipino restaurant is closing its location in North Shoal Creek to focus on a new location in Houston. In a Facebook post, the restaurant cited “forced closures from COVID-19, the incredibly slow reopening process and the future economic uncertainty.” (7858 Shoal Creek Blvd, North Shoal Creek)
Plush, Barracuda, and Scratchhouse: The three bars/live music venues on Red River closed due to the hardships of COVID-19. Plush may reopen outside of downtown at some point.
Daruma Ramen: The East Sixth Street ramen shop, which opened in 2013, has closed. Co-owner Kayo Asazu says the team plans to revive the restaurant with a new location elsewhere in Austin. (612 East Sixth Street, Downtown)
Black Walnut Cafe: The chain closed both of its Austin locations, at Four Points and near the Domain, as part of a larger scale-back due to COVID-19. (10817 Ranch Road 2222, Four Point; 11101 Burnet Road, North Austin)
Troublemaker: The East Seventh Street bar known for San Diego-style burritos and arcade games is no more. Only open since November 2019, co-owner Chad Dolezal told Eater that the two-hit combo of no South by Southwest and COVID-19 limiting capacity in already-slow summer made reopening not feasible, but that he is working on a project in Dallas. (1209 East Seventh Street, East Austin)
Full English: The British cafe, which opened in 2010, closed as owners “could not afford to continue.” The space will be taken over by food truck Vegan Yacht. The owners plan to auction off teapots and memorabilia. (2000 Southern Oaks Drive, Westgate)
The Brewer’s Table: The brewery and restaurant in East Austin closed due to difficulties of operating during COVID-19. Owner Jake Maddux may turn the space into another restaurant in the future. (4715 East Fifth Street, Govalle)
Cluck-n-Burger: The restaurant closed its location on Airport Boulevard in July, citing a “massive decline in sales from the COVID-19 pandemic and shortage on available resources to operate” on their website. The food truck will remain open, and the former location is now Jewboy Burgers. (5111 Airport Boulevard, North Loop)
Luby’s Cafeteria: As part of a larger national downsizing, the Brodie Lane location of the Houston-based buffet chain has closed. The three other locations in Austin remain open for takeout. (5200 Brodie Lane, Sunset Valley)
Dart Bowl: The beloved bowling alley famous for its enchiladas closed in July after 62 years in business. Despite receiving a Paycheck Protection Program loan, the Allandale bowling alley and Tex Mex restaurant closed due to slow business during COVID-19. (5700 Grover Avenue, Brentwood)
Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop: The Cherrywood location of the cupcake bakery closed its location on Manor Road, though the South First location is still open. Owner Olivia O’Neal explained she couldn’t see a way to reopen safely and profitably. (2406 Manor Road, Cherrywood)
Austin Java: The local coffee mini-chain closed all but one of its locations in August. Dripping Springs, Austin City Hall, and Met Center are closed, while the location on Menchaca is still open. Supposedly new locations are still in the works.
Ni-Kome: The Japanese stall at downtown food hall Fareground closed in August. Ni-Kome is the sibling restaurant to Daruma Ramen, which recently closed, and Kome on Airport Boulevard. (111 Congress Avenue, Downtown)
Napa Flats: The location of the California/Italian restaurant on 620 closed in August, with a statement saying the closure was due to declining sales from COVID-19 and the reduced operating capacity. (8300 North Farm to Market 620, Far Northwest Austin)
B.D. Riley’s: The downtown Irish pub closed in September after 20 years in business. Co-owner Steve Basile blamed the closure on decreasing foot traffic downtown. The Mueller location is still open. (204 East Sixth Street, Downtown)
Dirty Dog Bar: The Sixth Street bar closed in August, deciding to end their lease after the loss of anticipated revenue as events like SXSW and Rot Rally didn’t happen. The owners are holding out hope for a new location once operating restrictions from the pandemic are lifted. (505 East Sixth Street, Downtown)
Veggie Heaven: The Clarksville vegetarian restaurant closed in September due to slower sales from COVID-19. The restaurant, which has opened and closed several times over the years, had been closed since March. (1611 West Fifth Street, near Clarksville)
Buffalo Billiards: The longtime Sixth Street bar and pool hall closed after more than 20 years. In a statement, the owners cited rising costs and the COVID-19 pandemic as reasons for closing. (201 East Sixth Street, Downtown)
Pink Avocado: Brent Schumacher’s longtime catering company Pink Avocado closed in September due to the cancellation of many, many events.
Easy Tiger: The Sixth Street location of the beer garden and bakery closed in September. That location had been closed since March, and a representative saying that the business effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could especially be felt downtown. The new location on South Lamar is still a go, and the Linc location is still operating. (709 East Sixth Street, Downtown)
Kyoten Sushiko: The intimate Japanese restaurant, founded by Otto Phan and run by Sarah Cook, closed in late September. Phan wrote that “this difficult new environment is not an excuse for failure,” and that “it was best to accept that I couldn’t keep things going now, rather than later.” (4600 Mueller Boulevard, Mueller)
MezzeMe: The fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant shuttered its Drag location. because it “lost the majority of our student customer base,” explained owner Mahmud Ugur. To address that, he turned the space into a more general fast-casual restaurant with pizza and burgers. (2530 Guadalupe Street, West Campus)
P. Terry’s: The downtown Austin location of the restaurant — the only one without a drive-thru — closed permanently in September, because of a “dramatic drop in sales and traffic” amid the pandemic, explained by CEO Todd Coerver. There are still 18 other locations of the fast-food burger chain throughout the Austin area. (515 Congress Avenue, Downtown)
Funkadelic: The Sunset Valley brunch restaurant closed due to a decline in sales from the COVID-19 pandemic. Chef and owner Michael Wake, who opened the restaurant in 2018, has hopes to spin off into a different restaurant. (4715 South Lamar Boulevard, Sunset Valley)
Brick Oven: After 38 years in Austin, closed its last remaining location at the Arboretum in November.
Dai Due Taqueria: In November, butcher shop Dai Due closed its taqueria located in Fareground due to hardships from the novel coronavirus pandemic. The restaurant on Manor Road is still open. (111 Congress Avenue, Downtown)
Snap Kitchen: The shop that sold to-go healthy meals closed 14 locations in Texas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Counter Cafe: The original location of Counter Cafe on North Lamar closed in November. Owner Debbie Davis said it didn’t make sense to keep a 700-square-foot space open with social distancing mandates. The other two locations (on East Sixth and West 29th) remain open. (626 North Lamar Boulevard, Clarksville)
Seoulju: The Korean restaurant closed its takeout-only location within Kitchen United Mix in November, but the original North Lamar one remains open. Owner John Lee urged people to order from restaurants directly. (8023 Burnet Road, Wooten)
Second Bar + Kitchen: The downtown restaurant from chef David Bull closed its doors after a decade because they were unable to negotiate a lease. The Domain Northside location remains open. (200 Congress Avenue, Downtown)
Thai Kun: The Thai street food truck closed its location at High Noon in November citing difficulties operating during the pandemic, but with hopes to reopen somewhere else at a later date. (2000 East Cesar Chavez Street, East Cesar Chavez)
Dog House Drinkery: The Leander dog park and bar closed in November, citing the novel coronavirus. It opened in 2012. (3800 Co Rd 175, Leander)
Hops & Grain: The local brewery closed its tasting room on East Austin in December. Founder and owner Josh Hare told Eater that tap room sales had declined and changing safety guidelines made operating difficult. (507 Calles Street, Holly)
Sellers Underground: The Warehouse District gay bar, sister restaurant to Icenhauer’s, closed in December after four years in business. Seller’s cited capacity restrictions due to COVID-19 as the reason for the closure. (213 W 4th Street, Downtown)
Fabi + Rosi: The beloved Tarrytown restaurant closed in December after 12 years. COVID-19 wasn’t explicitly cited as the reason, but the owners stated it was time to move on. (509 Hearn Street, Tarrytown)
Update, January 4, 2021: 10:28 a.m.: This article, originally published on April 24, 2020, has been updated to include additional restaurant shutters.