The coronavirus and its damaging impact on the economy have caused one of the city’s top restaurants to hit pause, take a step back and reexamine its way forward. Pitchfork Pretty, rated the #2 restaurant in the city two years in a row by the American-Statesman, has closed indefinitely.
The restaurant owned by Seth Baas introduced a streamlined takeout menu in May, but after a few weeks, Baas decided to end that service and close the restaurant indefinitely.
"I would say this pause in operations is best described as a strategy to ensure the future of the restaurant," Baas told the American-Statesman over email. "There are a number of modifications and improvements I’ve been wanting to make inside and out of the building which I will take this time to accomplish. This is definitely our slow time of the year coming up. Along with Covid restrictions and other uncertainties this felt like the right decision."
Baas, who added that owning the land and building puts him in a beneficial position of not having to pay rent, hopes to have a better idea of a reopening date by August.
Baas met fellow native Texan chef Max Snyder while working in San Francisco, and the two opened the East Austin restaurant in 2017. Snyder, a veteran of the world-class Eleven Madison Park in New York City, brought an elegant eye and precise technique to Pitchfork Pretty, where he set the restaurant apart with a sophisticated, and often surprisingly light, take on comfort food.
One of the city’s best chefs, Snyder says he has parted ways with the temporarily closed restaurant and is focused on new ventures, which will likely include a "mostly vegan" food truck.
2019 Austin360 Dining Guide: Pitchfork Pretty (#2)
Historic closures: Magnolia Cafe | Threadgill’s | Shady Grove