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Downtown Austin Cocktail Bar The Townsend Has Closed Permanently

“This crazy year” proved too much for the bar on Congress Avenue

A cocktail from The Townsend
A cocktail from The Townsend
The Townsend [Official]
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

Lauded downtown cocktail bar The Townsend has closed permanently, as reported by Austin360, after five years of service. No word on what will happen to the space at 718 Congress Avenue.

The closure was announced in a private Facebook post, per Austin 360, from bar manager Jeff Boley, in which he said that the bar will not be reopening due to the effects of this “crazy year.” He acknowledged that while there are more pressing issues in the country, he was mourning the closure.

The bar had closed ahead of the city-wide shutter of bars and dining rooms in mid-March to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Townsend opened in 2015 by local group Penumbral Strategic Ventures (PSV), with cocktail expert Justin Elliott at the helm. The bar enjoyed a convenient location across from the Paramount Theater, and was known for having some of the best cocktails in the city. It had won the Eater Award for new bar that same year.

PSV announced that it was bringing lauded cocktail bar Employees Only to Austin in 2016, though there was no set address, and that Townsend would expand to Los Angeles, neither of which ever materialized.

Elliott left the bar in 2017 to join Italian restaurant Juniper, and taking over his Townsend position was Dushan Zaric, co-owner of Employees Only. Elliott left Juniper in 2018, and has since consulted on various bar menus, including Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental hotel’s speakeasy, Whisper Room, and is now a mixologist for beverage distributor Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits.

The Townsend [CLOSED]

718 Congress Ave Ste 100, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 887-8778