Turns out downtown Austin restaurant Italic is closed permanently after it had temporarily paused services at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic back in March 2020. Parent company WIP Hospitality (formerly ELM Hospitality) confirmed the permanent shutter to Eater today. The 123 West Sixth Street restaurant opened in 2015, followed by an expansion into downtown food hall Fareground in 2019 (that auxiliary stand also temporarily closed in March 2020, but wasn’t part of the refreshed vendor lineup when the full food hall reopened in September 2021).
Taking over Italic’s West Sixth address will be Fort Worth American restaurant import Lonesome Dove. The Tim Love-run restaurant closed its original location on 419 Colorado Street, which opened in 2015, on December 21, 2021, ahead of this move, with the plan to reopen sometime later this January 2022. It’s unclear what will happen to Lonesome’s original address. It had taken over next-door-shuttered restaurant Searsucker and turned it into an event space in 2019.
Rainey bar closes
Rainey Street bar Javelina has closed permanently as of December 19, 2021. The bar opened in 2012. Next-door beer bar Craft Pride also closed in October 2021. It’s safe to assume that a development project is taking over the address.
Domain restaurant shutters after 10 years
Domain restaurant Copper has closed permanently as of January 2. The ownership team decided against renewing the lease of the 10-year-old restaurant with the landlord because “we were unable to come to terms,” as they wrote on Facebook. Co-owner Ben May further explained to Community Impact: “When the landlord is approached by folks from out of town who are willing to pay multiples on what current tenants are paying, it’s a no-brainer decision for the landlord to go with the new guys.”
The team had opened the 3401 Esperanza Crossing, Suite 104 business as Austin Cake Kitchen & Bar in 2011, and rebranded the space in 2013. The Allandale location of Austin Cake Ball is staying open.
South Congress restaurant switcheroo
Austin company Trudy’s Texas Star Inc. decided to forever-close the longtime restaurant South Congress Cafe, which had been temporarily shuttered since October 2021. The parent company will turn the 1600 South Congress restaurant, which opened in 2003, into a branch of its other brand, a seafood-focused version of Tex-Mex mini-chain Trudy’s. The new Trudy’s Del Mar opened as of December 29, 2021. According to its Instagram page, the menu will still feature many South Congress Cafe dishes (including brunch) while adding Mexican seafood items.
Austin restaurant ordered to pay back wages
The operators of Austin restaurant Biryani-N-Grill — B&G North LLC and Sir Sai Balaji LLC — were ordered to pay $170,000 in back wages to 17 employees, as reported by Austin Business Journal in late December 2021.