Plow Burger already closed its shared physical space with Buzz Mill and also-vegan spot Brunch Bird on 1209 East Seventh Street in East Austin as of Tuesday, January 3. The Riverside truck at Buzz Mill at 1505 Town Creek Drive will have its last day on Sunday, January 15.
Plow Burger co-founders Jason Sabala (also the owner of Buzz Mill, hence the close ties) and Isaac Mogannam started the business together in 2018 where Sabala wanted to offer staffers ways to embark on their own projects while also contributing back to the community. Mogannam left Plow in January 2022, and, eventually, as Sabala writes to Eater: “Due to low sales, the business wasn’t able to execute Jason’s drive of give-back, since there was no money to give back.” The Hyde Park location of the truck already closed last summer.
Sabala plans on turning Plow Burger into a ghost kitchen service through Uber Eats starting on Monday, January 16. Brunch Bird is permanently closed.
And also, Sabala is turning Plow Burger’s Riverside trailer into a new meat-and-vegan burger truck. Dubbed Buzz Burger, the new restaurant will open on Friday, January 20 as part of Buzz Mill’s tenth-anniversary party.
According to Fat’s Instagram, the shutter happened because: “the combination of continued inflation, rising labor costs, and poor weather [...] has forced us to close our doors.”
Regarding costs, “given our price point, it was hard to see a road map where we could control our food costs,” writes Fat City founder Eric Silverstein in an email to Eater. “We would have had to take significant price increases and we were already getting pushback on pricing as it was.”
Silverstein also notes that weather is a major cause of the shutter, describing a hot summer with many 100-degree days, an early cold front later that year, rain in November, and a freeze in December. “Since we were strictly an outdoor business, our sales took a huge hit on those days when it was not pleasant to sit outside,” he writes. Still, there are plans to keep Fat City as a food truck with potential pop-ups.
Silverstein (also the owner of Asian-Southern restaurants the Peached Tortilla and Bar Peached) opened the business as a pop-up in 2020. He teamed up with Yard Bar in the summer of 2021, taking over the dog park’s restaurant portion and also renovating the patio and lot with a new children’s play area and putt-putt holes.
Update, 4:58 p.m.: This article, originally published at 12:08 p.m., has been updated to reflect the correct location of Buzz Burger, as well include further comments from Fat City Stacks’s Eric Silverstein.