Austin Italian cafe Uncle Nicky’s is closing its Central East Austin location this month. The last day for the 123 East 11th Street cafe within the former Hotel Eleven/current Frances Modern Inn was on Friday, December 23.
The cafe is known for its casual all-day Italian menu of sandwiches, pane tostatas, pastas, a particularly great tinned sardines plate, as well as cocktails, wines, and beers. For its last day on 11th Street, the cafe offered 40 percent off dine-in food and drinks on December 23 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Uncle Nicky’s co-partners are chef Nicholas Yanes (Juniper, the Dirdie Birdie, Verbena), Tober (Nickel City). brothers Brandon and Zane Hunt (Via 313 ). They opened the original Uncle Nicky’s up in Hyde Park in 2019, followed by this hotel location in December 2020. The group is opening a new tavern in East Austin in the summer of 2023, Murray’s, which will take over the recently closed Gourmands Neighborhood Pub.
Hotel Eleven co-owners Mark Vornberg and Shelly Leibham opened their boutique hotel in 2016 with then-cafe Louie’s Lounge (named after the beautiful on-site black cat Louie). They closed the cafe in October 2020 to prepare for Uncle Nicky’s expansion later that December. The couple changed the name of the hotel to the Cat Noir at some point later, and then they left the hotel to new co-owners Vicki Faust and Brian Copland in 2022, who renamed and renovated the space into the Frances Modern Inn this October. And yes, Louie the cat still lives on the property.
Update, January 4, 2023, 10:07 a.m.: This article, originally published on December 20, 2022, has been updated to include new information about the second Uncle Nicky’s relocation.