Will Austin Still Be Weird After COVID-19?

AUSTIN, Texas — The business restrictions that are in place due to the coronavirus pandemic are making it difficult for many popular Austin businesses to keep the lights on. City and state leaders implemented the necessary restrictions to help slow down the spread of the virus.

But for some businesses that were already struggling, the pandemic was the final nail in the coffin.

Most of the local businesses that helped shape Austin’s “weird’ identity have already shuttered over the past couple of decades. With the coronavirus taking out some of the few remaining mainstays, many residents are wondering what the face of Austin will look like on the other side of the pandemic.

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Here are some of the Austin businesses that have closed for good due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fricano’s Deli

Fricano’s Deli is bit newer compared to others, but it had been in business for about 14 years. The original location was on Speedway and 31st Street. Fricano’s had been operating at 2405 Nueces St since 2011. The deli’s owners announced its permanent closure on April 21.

“Our staff feels like family. We can’t emphasize that enough. Working with such incredible people made every day incredibly fun! That’s what made it so rewarding, but so hard to say goodbye,” the company said in a note on its website.

Magnolia Café West

Magnolia Café West opened on Lake Austin Boulevard 41 years ago. It was a go-to 24-hour diner for longtime Austinites and newcomers. But according to a post on the company’s Facebook page, business had been slowing down over the past few years.

“In the face of such a huge hit with the reality of COVID-19 and the incredible uncertainty of the future, we’ve had to confront the fact that this location will not survive,” the company said on Facebook.

Magnolia Café’s 1920 S Congress Ave location is expected to re-open after the dine-in restrictions are lifted.

 

North By Northwest

After more than 20 years in business, North By Northwest Restaurant and Brewery closed its remaining location at 10010 Capital of Texas Highway on April 16. The restaurant had been selling food and beer through takeout after the city closed dine-in service in March. The company is holding an open house equipment sale April 21-25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

 

 

Threadgill’s

Threadgill’s, the venue that gave Janice Joplin her start, has gone out of business. The company announced a temporary closure due to COVID-19 on April 8, but the closure is now permanent. The restaurant opened as Threadgill’s in 1981. Prior to that, the location was known as the Armadillo World Headquarters, a hot spot for music in the 1970s.

“We’re sad to announce that Threadgill’s is closed. We love our employees and customers so much. Thank you for making Threadgill’s a part of Austin’s DNA and supporting us over the years,” the company said on its website.

Threadgill’s shuttered its Riverside location in 2018 due to rising rent.

We just want to say thank you to everyone supporting us during this time. So many of you have bought t-shirts and gift cards from our online store, and we are very thankful and we feel the love. Thank you! #atx pic.twitter.com/H26fp69MlT

— Threadgill's (@threadgills) April 1, 2020

 

Vulcan Video

The coronavirus pandemic also hit Vulcan Video hard. The company shuttered for good in early April. It had already been struggling to stay afloat due to the rise of streaming platforms and escalating rent prices. The company launched a GoFundMe page to help save the video store in 2019.

 

 




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