Longtime East Austin cafe Gelateria Gemelli is closing this fall. The shop at 1009 East 6th Street in the Corazon Apartments will close on Tuesday, November 1.
“We scraped by through COVID thanks to the support of all of you,” owner Andrew Sabola writes on the Instagram post announcement, “but business has not come roaring back substantially enough for us to climb out from our COVID hole.”
Sabola expands further with Eater, explaining sales were good, “but not enough to help us climb out of the expenses incurred during the pandemic,” he writes over email. Along with high food and ingredient costs and increasing triple-net leases from his landlord “have made this unsustainable,” he writes. “We could have to charge $12 per scoop to be profitable, and that’s with me still not taking a salary,” he says, adding that he hasn’t paid himself since 2018.
Sabola opened Gemelli in 2015 with an impressive selection of small-batch gelato (in flavors like miso vanilla and fernet stracciatella) alongside amari, cocktails, and coffee. The shop also often hosted pop-ups and collaborations with other chefs around town.
The cafe had a few attempts at expansion: first, there was a gelato truck that opened in 2016 but eventually closed, and then in 2018 Gelateria Gemelli announced a second location on Music Lane but that never came to fruition.
On the same apartment building East Sixth block as Gemelli, fancy chocolate shop Maggie Louise Confections closed sometime in 2021, and was replaced by the Austin expansion of Los Angeles Michelin-starred Italian tasting menu restaurant Pasta|Bar in March 2022.
Update, Tuesday, October 4, 2:06 p.m.: This article, originally published on September 28, has been updated to include Gemelii’s new last day and further quotes from owner Andrew Sabola.