clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Austin Bar and Cafe Ani’s Closed Suddenly, Impacting Vegan Pizza and Caribbean Food Trucks

Li’l Nonna’s moved to a new bar and Nyam Sunshine Cuisine is looking for a new location

A red food truck with the words Lil Nonna’s parked at an outdoor patio with picnic tables at night.
Li’l Nonna’s parked at Ani’s.
Li’l Nonna’s
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

The sudden closure of Montopolis cafe and bar Ani’s Day & Night in late December 2023 has impacted two on-site food trucks, vegan pizza truck Li’l Nonna’s and Caribbean food truck Nyam Sunshine Cuisine, at 7107 East Riverside Drive.

Li’l Nonna’s has since reopened in a new address, North Campus bar Tweedy’s at 2906 Fruth Street as of Friday, January 19. Nyam is currently still open at the East Riverside address, but is looking to move as soon as possible.

On December 20, 2023, Li’l Nonna’s owner Rob Lordi had temporarily shuttered his truck “to coincide with Ani’s temporary closure” for a few days due to a gap between the end of its temporary permit and the start of a permanent permit renewal.

But then, ten days later, a photo appeared on Reddit of a lockout notice on Ani’s door dated December 21 addressed to cafe co-owner Zach Herigodt for nonpayment of rent. The letter notes that Ani’s is “in default under the leases [they] entered.”

On January 3, 2024, Lordi posted on Instagram to explain that Li’l Nonna was closed because of “some issues going on with Ani’s ownership and lease status, which have caused them to close suddenly,” and that the team doesn’t “fully understand” what happened. The truck is parked on the alfresco space of the cafe so it could technically still operate, but because the staff needs access to a bathroom, which is indoors, it can’t open since the physical building is locked.

In a makeshift effort, Lordi opened the truck for service on Thursday, January 4, and added a porta-potty on-site for staffers. The truck remained open for service through January 16, often selling out of food.

Nyam had been closed for the holiday break, but reopened on January 7 at the Ani’s space. On January 12, it switched to serving only lunch because of the cafe’s closure, as co-owner Chris Burrell wrote on Instagram. Hours have continued to be spotty since then because of the uncertainty with the cafe.

A handwritten sign on a door that reads We Are Still Closed. Hope to see you soon. =)
The sign at Ani’s on January 5.
Eater Austin

When Eater visited Ani’s on January 5, the lockout notice wasn’t there, but there was a handwritten sign that said “we are still closed” and “hope to see you soon!” with a smiley face drawn.

Ani’s co-owner Rachael Garbowski wrote to Eater on January 5 that “we are still sorting things out with the landlord and hope to reopen again as soon as possible.”

In order to operate fully, Lordi planned on relocating Li’l Nonna’s, as he explains to Eater that, “from the sounds of it, [Ani’s] won’t be back open for at least a month or two.” That’s how he landed on Tweedy’s, which is the truck’s new permanent address.

Nyam’s Burrell has been looking for a new location for the truck, but, as he writes to Eater over Instagram direct message, he hasn’t “found anything that’s affordable as of yet.” He says that the truck will remain open at Ani’s until he can find a new home.

Li’l Nonna’s opened in 2016, moving from different locations since then, and has been at Ani’s since November 2023. Lordi opened the physical restaurant version of the truck, Big Nonna’s, in 2020 in the Crossing at Parmer Lane neighborhood. Nyam opened at Ani’s in 2021. Garbowski and Herigodt opened Ani’s in July 2021, with coffee, cocktails, wines, and food trucks. Currently, Mexican truck Las Alegres Comadres appears to be operating at the address.

Update, January 19: This article, originally published on January 11, has been updated to include Li’l Nonna’s new location and information about Nyam Cuisine’s situation.

Li'l Nonna's

7107 East Riverside, Austin, Texas 78741 (512) 993-8998 Visit Website

Nyam Sunshine Cuisine

7107 East Riverside Drive, Austin, Texas 78741 Visit Website

Tweedy's Bar

2908 Fruth Street, , TX 78705 (512) 297-2125 Visit Website

Ani's Day & Night

7107 East Riverside Drive, , TX 78741 (512) 775-1355 Visit Website