Blue Star Kitchen + Bar closes after 13 years

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LOS ANGELES CA – JANUARY 28: Wolfgang Puck’s main plate is displayed at The 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Behind-The-Scenes day one on January 28, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Locally owned neighborhood eatery Blue Star Kitchen + Bar closed Monday after 13 years, citing large increases in rent and property taxes.

In an announcement, owner of the Burnet Road restaurant Eddie Bernal said, ” Wilder Properties, who owns the shopping center, wanted to raise the rent over 20 percent, not including the property taxes that have over tripled over the last 13 years. This makes it challenging to work together to keep our restaurant open, and the other tenants are facing the same issues.”

Bernal noted that the restaurant has always had a spotless payment record and that other local restauranteurs are dealing with the same issues, in addition to labor shortages, new city policies, chain restaurant competition and higher food costs.

According to Bernal, local establishments are being squeezed out by landlords, property taxes and property management companies in an effort to get more and more rent money as Austin changes.

Following the closure, Bernal says he will concentrate on managing his other properties and will also be seeking possible new, viable locations for a brick and mortar Blue Star location.

In the meantime, customers will still be able to enjoy Blue Star’s offerings and can find more information here.

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