AUSTIN (KXAN/Austin Business Journal) — Uncle Billy’s Brewery and Smokehouse on Barton Springs Road closed abruptly on the morning of Oct. 21 and notified patrons on Facebook that it’s relocating to Dripping Springs.
The move surprised many of the eatery’s own employees who only found out the restaurant was closing this week. That left them scrambling to find new jobs.
Bob Leggett, managing partner at Uncle Billy’s, said that they informed most of the salaried employees several weeks ago but did not tell their hourly wait staff and cooks until the past several days once they got past the rush for Austin City Limits Music Festival.
“Despite the ongoing losses to the business, ownership decided to keep the business open thru ACL in order to provide the hourly employees with an opportunity to make as much money as possible,” Leggett said.
Leggett added that the hourly staff will not get any more pay but will get to keep their insurance through the end of the month. Salaried employees will be paid out and keep their insurance through the end of the month.
Some non-management staff already have jobs at the new location in Dripping Springs. It’s unclear exactly when it will open. Management said “sometime in the coming weeks.” Leggett said the new establishment will include a “tasting room offering spirits and craft cocktails and a selection of Uncle Billy’s food menu.”
The move to Dripping Springs about 30 minutes south of Austin will allow the 13-year-old company to expand production and increase distribution through Republic National Distribution Company, according to Monday’s announcement.
“The management and staff thank the customers for an incredible 13 years relaxing on the patio, listening to live music, and enjoying award-winning craft beers, distilled spirits, hand-crafted cocktails, and delicious, slow-smoked Texas BBQ,” the restaurant said on Facebook.
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Full statement from Bob Leggett, managing partner at Uncle Billy’s
“Most of the salaried employees were informed several weeks in advance. Despite the ongoing losses to the business, ownership decided to keep the business open thru ACL in order to provide the hourly employees with an opportunity to make as much money as possible. Most of the employees were made aware of the closure several days ago. We offered all of the salaried employees full pay and insurance thru the end of the month and all hourly employees insurance thru the end of the month. We provided several employees with job opportunities and/or job interviews at restaurants we have close relationships with. We committed to help any and all employees with letters of recommendation and/or references and to assist in any way possible with future employment opportunities.”