Oaxacan-inspired restaurant El Naranjo announced today that it would be closing its original Rainey Street location in November. It’s unclear whether the restaurant outgrew the street or vice versa, but seven years is a nice long run for any restaurant, especially in a booze-soaked locale like Rainey Street that poses challenges to customers looking for a meal and not an hours-long ramble.
The announcement comes just a couple of weeks after chef owner Iliana de la Vega and husband, Ernesto Torrealba, opened a location at 2717 S. Lamar Blvd. in the former El Chipiron space. The couple opened El Naranjo on Rainey Street in 2012, when there were few businesses on the street and Sunday Fundays were not yet a thing. They operated a trailer of the same name for a couple of years on the lot while their avocado colored bungalow was being built.
The restaurant will serve its final dinner on November 16. It concludes lunch service this Friday and its final brunch will be October 13.
“After seven incredible years, we are saddened to announce the closing of our beloved Rainey Street location,” the owners said in a statement. “While it’s a difficult decision, in order to continue doing what we love—and having fun with it along the way—we have made the decision to end services on Rainey Street. We’re beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to serve our community in our first home on Rainey Street since 2012, and while this is a bittersweet moment for El Naranjo, we are looking forward to continuing the restaurant’s story at our new location. Thank you for your love and support these past seven years.”
El Naranjo, which De la Vega started as a trailer on Rainey Street after years cooking in Oaxaca, has been a regular in the Top 50 restaurants in Austin over the last several years.
New hours of operation are:
Brunch: Friday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting Sunday, October 20
Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m.
Brunch: Saturday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. until Sunday, October 13
Lunch: Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. until Friday, October 4
Dinner: Tuesday to Friday, 5:30 to 10 p.m. until Saturday, November 16
2018 Austin360 Dining Guide: El Naranjo (#19)
2012 restaurant review: El Naranjo serves as a culinary oasis amidst the pulsating nightlife of Rainey Street