Longtime venerable downtown Austin catering company Pink Avocado is now closed permanently because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Its last day of operations was on Friday, September 11. The company also ran downtown venue the Palm Door on Sabine, which appears to be closed for good, too.
“We’ve seen the writing on the wall, and the loss of revenue due to the cancellation of live events is unsustainable for us at this time,” writes founder and executive chef Brent Schumacher on Facebook last week. “As our industry colleagues know, live events have been one of the hardest hit industries and will likely be one of the last to recover.”
The novel coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of the city’s biggest revenue generator, South by Southwest, as well as countless events, weddings, etc. amid social gathering bans to mitigate the spread of the virus. Schumacher started the company in 2006, catering everything from weddings to parties to events, including plenty of SXSW related ones.
“Recent moves to cut operating costs and pivot to curbside delivery” — which were launched in late March amid stay home orders — “were short-term solutions,” continues Schumacher’s post, “but unsustainable as the pandemic continues to negatively affect lives and businesses across the country.”
“This closure is awful for us and the community,” Schumacher writes, “but I’d like to see greater attention paid to the wider events industry, which is struggling all across the country in the wake of the pandemic. Not only are businesses adversely affected, but hundreds of thousands of hospitality workers are out of work with no relief in sight.”
The Texas Live Events Coalition was formed over the summer to advocate for the state’s live events industry, which spans caterers, producers, performers, contracts, and more, amid the pandemic. It’s calling on the federal government to provide relief for the people in the industry.