East Austin Counter Culture is closing at the end of the year after over ten years of business. Its last day of service at 2337 East Cesar Chavez Street in the Holly neighborhood will be on Saturday, December 31.
Owner Sue Davis decided against renewing the restaurant’s lease, as she explained on Facebook, and is unsure what will happen next for her and Counter Culture. “I don’t have a clear picture of what the future will hold for Counter Culture, the way people eat out has changed,” she wrote. “I love Austin wholeheartedly but with the rising costs I’m not sure it’s feasible to rent again, and buying seems like a faraway dream.”
Just last month, Davis had talked about she wanted to relocate the restaurant into a new space, ideally University Hills or Windsor Park, that she’d be able to own, as she told ATX Today. She also shared that business hasn’t been great during the pandemic. She tells Eater over email that she nixed those relocation goals after three years of searching because, “there are a lot of empty buildings, and either people don't want to sell or they are asking [for] an astronomical price.” She hops that eventually, the market will be better and she’ll be able to buy a space for the restaurant. In the meantime, she tells Eater, “I look forward to a break.”
Counter Culture is known for its vegan menu, centered on house-made seitan, quinoa chorizo, jackfruit, and cashew cheeze, used in dishes like “crab” cakes, vegan queso, barbecue seitan skewers, and mac and cheeze.
Davis opened Counter Culture as a food truck in 2009 in the North Loop neighborhood and opened the physical iteration in 2012 in East Austin.
Until its final day at the end of December, Counter will be operating with limited hours from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and then from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
Update, 10:19 a.m.: This article, originally published at 9:23 a.m., has been updated to include additional comments from Sue Davis.