AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin landscape is constantly changing, with new bars, restaurants, coffee shops and more springing up to call one of the fastest-growing cities in America home.
But over time, some local favorites have been lost, whether it be because of the pandemic, rising rent costs or new developments.
We asked KXAN viewers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to reminisce about beloved spots no longer around. Below is a compilation of the most popular answers.
The restaurant and venue which used to be located on North Lamar Boulevard permanently closed in March 2020, near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Oh, yeah, I miss Threadgills a lot,” wrote one viewer on Facebook.
It was originally a filling station, opened by country music lover Kenneth Threadgill in 1933, according to its website. The venue is known to have hosted rock-and-roll great Janis Joplin.
Threadgill’s still has a store on its website where you can pick up some quintessential Austin goods.
The coffeehouse and venue on Barton Springs Road closed for good in 2014, according to an Austin Business Journal article from that time.
It opened in 1992 and became a niche spot among singer-songwriter musicians because of its listening room, ABJ reported.
“I can’t believe no one has mentioned Flipnotics,” wrote @SpaceJuno on Twitter.
In late 2010 it was announced the West Sixth eatery, known for its classic New York deli cuisine, was closing, according to an Austin Business Journal article from that time. This was after about three decades in business.
The KXAN newsroom had to chime in on this one.
“When I was a student at UT taking media classes, Katz’s served as a backdrop for one of my photography projects. We shot it late at night because, well, ‘Katz’s Never Kloses!'” evening anchor Daniel Marin remembered.
Meteorologist Rich Segal added, “Katz’s was a favorite because I could get a decent bagel with cream cheese and Nova Scotia lox along with a hearty bowl of matzo ball soup. Being open 24 hours was a huge plus.”
The Katz’s legacy still lives on, though, but in Houston. The family opened locations in Montrose, The Woodlands and The Heights, according to the restaurant’s website.
The vegetarian restaurant in Hyde Park closed in October 2020, according to its website, due to the toll of the pandemic. It originally opened in June 1980.
“I loved the mushroom stroganoff,” one viewer wrote on Facebook.
You can still find Mother’s salad dressings online and in stores though. Stores like Whole Foods, Wheatsville Food Co-op and Thom’s Market carry the restaurant’s products.
Food blog Eater Austin reported in September 2018 the South Congress fixture was closing, because the land was being turned into a mixed-use development. The restaurant opened in the 1940s, according to the report.
Like many establishments, the restaurant on Barton Springs Road closed permanently in May 2020 during the height of the pandemic.
“Shady Grove. I no longer live in Austin, but was sad to hear it closed. I still think of the Hippie Chick sandwich and the musicians I saw there,” wrote @laralyn04 on Twitter.
Shady Grove served up comfort food and local music to the Austin community for nearly 30 years. The business used to host a summer music series called “Unplugged at the Grove” that featured local and national musicians on Thursdays.
The cafe closed in January 2019 after 31 years of serving the community, the Manor Road business wrote on its website. It was sold to the owner of Suerte.
The restaurant was opened in 1988 by Elaine Martin, but she decided to retire in 2019 and pass the torch to another restauranteur in Austin.
The Mexican restaurant which lived on Congress Avenue closed in 2008 to make way for a Marriott hotel.
“Las Manitas if I could only bring back one,” one viewer wrote on Facebook.
In October 2019, a Sixth Street staple closed after 80 years of serving the people of Austin.
Hut’s first opened in 1939 under the name Sammie’s Drive-In. It changed over to Hut’s in 1969 when it was bought by Homer “Hut” Hutson and moved to West Sixth that same year.
Mike and Kim Hutchinson then took over the joint in 1981.
“Huts was my favorite burger place and Katz was delicious I miss those places,” commented one viewer on Facebook.
South Congress Cafe
In 2021, the former South Congress Cafe building transformed into what is now Trudy’s Del Mar. It’s still under the same ownership, according to an Austin Business Journal report, but the new restaurant focuses on Mexican coastal food and cocktails.
South Congress Cafe originally opened in 2003, according to the article.
First opened in 1958, Dart Bowl built a reputation on enchiladas and a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. The central Austin bowling alley closed in July 2020 in the thick of the pandemic.
Another KXAN employee had a fond memory to share about this one.
“My college experience wouldn’t have been complete without heading to Dart Bowl every week my senior year for a bowling league. I still dream about Dart Bowl’s famous enchiladas … and White Russians, of course,” KXAN Investigates reporter Avery Travis said.
The campus burger joint on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard closed in 2014, according to a past report from Eater Austin. According to the story, the University of Texas at Austin owned the land and decided to end its lease.
One viewer wrote on Facebook, “I know it closed a long time ago but I will forever miss Players.” Other viewers talked about the restaurant’s mozzarella sticks and fried mushrooms.
“Players on MLK and Guadalupe was and is my favorite burger joint. I miss going there weekly while attending UT,” said @dillonv512 on Twitter.
The business opened in 1981.
Here’s a list of other popular, now-shuttered Austin spots viewers mentioned on social media.
- Stallion Drive Inn
- Vulcan Video
- I Luv Video
- Filling Station
- Holiday House
- Dallas Nightclub
- The Frisco Shop
- Crema Bakery & Cafe
- Castle Hill Cafe
- Chez Nous
- Freddie’s Place
Do you have old photos of these Austin establishments of the past? Submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org.