Lucy's Fried Chicken on Burnet Road closing permanently; SoCo location still hosting SXSW
Anyone who has spent more than a few minutes walking or driving around Austin (or any major city) over the past year can tell you that there is a serious hiring crisis in the restaurant world.
"Now Hiring" signs appear around every corner, and a report Friday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that restaurant and bar employment is still down 824,000 from pre-pandemic levels.
The crisis landed at Lucy's Fried Chicken owner James Holmes' feet recently, as the veteran Austin chef told the American-Statesman that he will be closing the Burnet Road location of his fried chicken joint after service Sunday.
"I wish I had more insight, but it all comes down to staffing" Holmes said. "I can’t find staff to stay open seven days a week, therefore I can’t justify re-signing the lease."
Holmes, who opened his original location off South Congress Avenue in 2011, expanded to Burnet Road in 2013. This is the second location he's had to shutter since the pandemic started. The Lakeway location closed in spring 2020.
Lucy's Fried Chicken continues to operate in Cedar Park, where Holmes opened in 2019, and at the original location, which is one of the great low-key venues for free shows during South by Southwest. This year's 10th anniversary slate of shows runs March 16-20 and includes performances by Shinyribs, Chuck Prophet & The Mission Express, Heartless Bastards and many more.