Home Slice North Loop Closes Temporarily After Staffer Tests Positive for COVID-19

Nadia Chaudhury

Home Slice Staffer Tests Positive for COVID-19
New York-style pizzeria Home Slice temporarily closed its North Loop location because one of its staffers tested positive for COVID-19, as the restaurant shared on Facebook. The employee last worked at the East 53rd Street restaurant on Sunday, May 3, and they tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, May 5. During the temporary shutter, Home Slice will be professionally deep cleaned and disinfected. All employees who worked at that location will be tested for the novel coronavirus as well. Once it is safe to do so, the restaurant will reopen. Neither Home Slice locations (the other on South Congress, which will remain open during this time too) have chosen to open for dine-in service at this time, opting to stick to takeout and curbside pickup services instead.

Little Brother Closes Temporarily Because of Sick Employee
Out of precaution, downtown bar Little Bar is now closed temporarily as of Sunday, May 3, because one of its employees has been feeling sick. The person has been asked to take the COVID-19 test. The employee had last worked at the bar, which had been selling to-go drinks to accompany food orders from on-site truck Bummer Burrito, on Tuesday, April 28. The bar will be cleaned in the meantime while it waits for the test results.

Restaurant Shutter Unrelated to COVID-19
North Campus pizzeria The Varsity Pizza & Pints is now closed as of Wednesday, April 15 after over 20 years of service. The shutter is unrelated to the novel coronavirus pandemic, as the restaurant informed Eater. The owners already sold the 3000 Duval Street restaurant at the end of 2019, and its final date happened to fall in April.

Austin Bars Nab Finalist Nominations in Cocktail Awards
The Spirited Awards’ narrowed-down nominee list was announced this week. Both The Roosevelt Room and Nickel City nabbed finalist slots in the Best American Bar Team and the Best American High-Volume Cocktail Bar categories. The winners will be announced on Tuesday, July 21, though the exact format of the awards ceremony has yet to be determined.

SXSW Web Session With Lauded D.C. Chef
While South by Southwest was canceled, the festival has still been hosting online sessions, featuring scheduled keynote speakers and discussions. This week includes James Beard Award-winning D.C. chef Kwame Onwuachi with journalist Liz Bacelar. The chef will talk about his memoir, Notes From a Young Black Chef, as well as his experience with racism in the kitchen, and running a local restaurant. The digital session takes place on Thursday, May 7 at 11 a.m. through Slido.

Austin Catering Company’s Backstory
Beth DiBaggio and Rafael Rodriguez, the co-owners of Austin catering company La Pera, spoke more about how they came to develop their taco delivery offshoot El Camaron with Conde Nast Traveler. It was all inspired by a shrimp taco created by Rodriguez’s father who had a restaurant in Los Angeles. It consisted of a fried paste of ground shrimp, potatoes, and garlic, with cabbage, tomatoes, queso fresco, and hot sauce, within a tiny corn tortilla.

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