South Congress Avenue is losing a familiar face, as changes come to the iconic stretch south of Lady Bird Lake. Snack Bar announced today that it will close on October 30, which will also be the mid-century-modern-inspired restaurant’s seventh anniversary.
“We are one of the dwindling number of DIY mom-and-pop restaurants that keep Austin weird,” Snack Bar owners Bethany Andrée and Karl Gilkey wrote in a letter. “Considering ‘pop’ and I had virtually no restaurant or management experience seven years ago, we feel incredibly lucky, deeply grateful and well-educated today. No matter how difficult and emotionally charged this decision has been, the timing of our closure was ultimately our choice.”
Investment management firm Greenfield Partners LLC, which owns the Bunkhouse Management-operated Hotel San Jose, earlier this year purchased the Austin Motel, its connected restaurant and several adjacent businesses, including the Turquoise Door and Blackmail Boutique.
The Snack Bar owners said they were encouraged by the new property owners to finish out the remainder of their lease (two years), but decided now was the best time to close, due in part to the tumultuous restaurant landscape, which has seen several new openings on South Congress Avenue in just the last year.
“We chose the right thing to do for us personally and our Snack Bar family,” the letter read. “We can confidently close knowing that we successfully fulfilled our mission statement: to cultivate community and camaraderie by providing a truly hospitable environment and serving accessible, ethical foods.”
For more on the changes coming to the Austin Motel, read Shonda Novak’s May story on MyStatesman.com.
The changes on the western side of the avenue aren’t the only ones headed to the popular street. The Statesman reported last week that there are plans for San Antonio-based Lake|Flato Architects to design a mixed-use project along the eastern side of the road that encompasses a 1.5-acre site from 1011 South Congress Ave. to 1123 South Congress Ave. that includes Wet Salon & Studio, Strut, Parts & Labour, United Apparel Liquidators and Doc’s Bar & Grill.