Update: Botticellis co-owner Andrew Botticelli has clarified that the closure of the restaurant he owns with his brother is hopefully temporary.
Botticelli says he and his brother, Matthew, will take the next several weeks to analyze their options. The restaurant, like many in town, has been losing money under the current dining restrictions and as COVID-19 cases have been on the rise, so the owners decided it made more sense to close their doors for the time being.
"We feel it’s our greatest chance to actually survive this," Andrew Botticelli said.
The owners are considering all of their options. They may devise a way to keep the doors closed temporarily and limit their losses until there is a vaccine or other virus mitigation; they may reopen with modified operations; or they may close permanently.
"We’ll see if we can find a path forward," Botticelli said. "Things have to change in Texas and Travis County, and public perception. That’s gonna dictate how we move forward more than anything."
A long-standing member of the South Congress dining community has closed permanently. Botticellis announced in a couple of posts on Instagram over the weekend that yesterday was its final day of business.
The restaurant at 1321 S. Congress Ave., named after brothers Matt and Andrew Botticelli (not the Italian Renaissance painter) opened in the indoor-outdoor space in 2007, long before the days of $100-per-square-foot rents on that popular stretch of road. The restaurant took the place of the former D&L's Texas Music Cafe when it opened.
"We don’t have the words currently to tell you how much this community has meant to us. We are so grateful to everyone who has ever walked through our doors," the owners announced in a post Saturday.
They followed with a post of themselves as children with their parents, writing, "They always supported our dreams. When opening Botticellis they were here laying tile and building booths with us. When visiting over the years they have gotten to know many of our regulars and even invited them to their home in Chicago."
As with many fellow restaurants, Botticellis started a GoFundMe page for its employees and for the restaurant in March and soon thereafter pivoted to curbside service before reopening its doors for dine-in, as well.
The Botticelli brothers were also partners in Little, Barrel and Brown in the home of the current Neighborhood Sushi, which they operated from 2013-2017.