Austin lost a unique and comforting casual spot over the weekend as chef Philip Speer’s Bonhomie closed after brunch service Sunday. The restaurant, which Speer and his partners aptly billed as Waffle House-meets-French bistro, opened in March 2017. The blend of execution, flavors and a laid-back approach to thoughtful but not pretentious food made Bonhomie one of our three favorite new restaurants of 2017 and landed the Burnet Road spot a place in the Top 20 in our annual dining guide last year.

Ricardo B. Brazziell /AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Speer, who didn’t seem ready to go into extensive detail about the nature of the closing, said he and his team were “proud and grateful to have had the opportunity to create the concept.”

Philip Speer at Bonhomie, 5350 Burnet Road. Ricardo B. Brazziell/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

“I couldn’t be happier with the product and service that we consistently offered to our guests,” Speer said. We would like to thank the Burnet Road community who welcomed us as well as the patrons that supported us in this time. I am also super proud of our staff, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of service peeps.”

Bonhomie had been part of the wave of new restaurants that had been building momentum to make Burnet Road a dining destination in recent years, along with restaurants like the Peached Tortilla, Barley Swine and Bufalina Due. Speer opened the restaurant known for its potato rosti, cheeseburger and bistro classics following a decade-long run with the Uchi restaurant group, where he had been director of culinary operations.

Speer said he will have more news on his future plans in the weeks and months ahead.

And, I’ll have more thoughts on why very good restaurants in seemingly good locations, are having so much trouble in the current marketplace in the weeks ahead, as well.

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