AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — Dirty Martin’s on Guadalupe Street has been serving up its famous burgers for years, but the owner says he’s worried his business will be forced to close.
“The business has been here since 1926, so it is 96 years old this year,” said owner Mark Nemir.
Nemir’s grandfather owned the spot years ago, and Mark took over 33 years ago. He said since the pandemic began, his business has been doing very well.
“We are growing,” Nemir said.
In October, he says he was informed that the tracks for Capital Metro’s proposed Orange Line could run right through his property.
“When I met with them down here, that’s when they informed me it looked like their plan was going to come right square center of this room, but really wipe out this entire property,” Nemir said.
CapMetro provided a statement when asked about preliminary plans:
“The Project Connect program was taken through a community engagement process to identify the locally preferred alternative, before being adopted by the CapMetro Board and Austin City Council and taken to Austin voters who approved a historic investment in transit. CapMetro is working with partners at the Austin Transit Partnership and City of Austin to implement the Project Connect program, as we committed to voters we would. We are working through the design process, which involves extensive community engagement, including with property owners and tenants along the routes. All three partners value the community’s feedback, and we will continue to use that feedback to shape the transit system.”CapMetro
While the plans are in the very early stages Nemir is hoping to gain more support from his loyal customers and friends.
“Our prayer is we will move this track out in the street, or they will keep it underground and move on down the road and we can keep on doing what we do here,” Nemir said.
The Orange Line is part of Project Connect which is the $7 billion plan to expand public transportation in Texas.
The project set aside $300 million for anti-displacement efforts.
Dirty Martin’s plans to start a petition on its website soon.