Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Texas French Bread heightens its ambitions with new executive chef Max Mackinnon

Matthew Odam /
Chef James Holmes at Lucy’s Fried Chicken in South Austin. [AMERICAN-STATESMAN FILE]

Just as people’s minds have started drifting toward sunny days on the lake, or the memory of, chef James Holmes told the Statesman today that he has closed Lucy’s Fried Chicken in Lakeway.

The chef, who helped usher in Austin’s second wave of fine dining with his now-shuttered restaurant Olivia on South Lamar Boulevard, said that the writing had pretty much been on the wall since dining rooms were forced to close in March. Holmes says that spring break is always one of their biggest weeks of the year.

“March kept us open for November, December and January,” Holmes said. But one week of very slow takeout sales proved that a pivot would not be the answer for the restaurant on Lake Travis in the space that was home to the Iguana Grill before Holmes took it over in 2016.

The South Congress, Burnet Road and Cedar Park locations have all reopened with very limited indoor and patio seating since Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s proclamation on May 1.

Holmes says business at those locations has been surprisingly good thanks to his staff, all of whom he has consulted in making decisions regarding takeout and reopening, and a loyal customer base.

“I feel like we’ve adapted pretty swiftly thanks to my people,” Holmes said. “People have been very very generous with tips. It’s been a total community and group effort, I don’t know how to explain it.”


Stories of historic Austin restaurant closures: Shady Grove | Magnolia Cafe | Threadgill’s | Enchiladas Y Mas

Reopened restaurant patio dining: ABGB, Lucy’s, Grizzelda’s, ATX Cocina and more

Restaurants reopen to hungry patrons

Restaurants that have reopened dining rooms

15 great ideas for takeout from some unexpected places in Austin

The American-Statesman is making this coverage available to nonsubscribers at no cost as a public service during the coronavirus outbreak.

Please support local journalism by subscribing to the Statesman at

Want to stay updated on the latest news about coronavirus in Austin? Subscribe to our Coronavirus Update newsletter at

Covering the coronavirus pandemic