AUSTIN (KXAN) - The domino effect of the ongoing drought is now forcing the permanent closure of one of the area's most popular restaurants.
Carlos'N Charlie's, a lakeside hot spot since 1995 and the first U.S. location of the international restaurant chain, is now just weeks away from shutting its doors for good.
Due to low lake levels, more than three years have passed since a single boat has been able to pull up to the popular Lake Travis party spot. This has spurred a significant enough decline in business to shut down the location permanently.
“A 60-80% drop in business that lasts multiple years – it’s just not worth it," Pete Clark, co-owner of the local Carlos'N Charlie's, said.
“It’s unfathomable," Clark said. "We never thought that it could be this bad for this long.”
The ongoing drought is forcing Pete to make tough decisions.
“We’ve had a great run and we loved doing it and loved being a part of the Lake Travis community," Clark said. "It’s just time to stop because we don’t know when it’s going to end.”
If lake levels return to normal in the future, Pete hasn’t ruled out bringing a restaurant back to the location, although it will not be a Carlos'N Charlie's.
“Kids had birthday parties up there; my parents had their 50th wedding anniversary up there,” Clark said. “We’ll always have those memories.”
And when they shut their doors just after Labor Day weekend, memories are all we will have.
As one last hurrah, Carlos'N Charlie’s is inviting everyone down on Labor Day weekend for live music, food, drinks, and one last chance to reminisce before the restaurant is no more.
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