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Austin restaurant down for the count, Willie's growing cannabis empire, and more top stories

Austin restaurant down for the count, plus more top stories this week

Counter 3. Five. VII and The Infinite Monkey Theorem presents Wine Dinner
Counter 3. FIVE. VII. is closing shop. Photo courtesy of Counter 3. Five. VII

Editor's note: Summer notoriously means a slower news cycle, but stories from Austin's food scene continue to speed in at a breakneck pace. This week, a ritzy Congress Avenue restaurant closed while an Oregon-based burger chain announced it was rolling out a new location inside the flagship Whole Foods Market. Read on for more of the week's top stories.

1. Upscale downtown Austin restaurant latest victim in recent wave of shutters. Number's up for this Congress Avenue spot. Counter 3. FIVE. VII. was a bit of an anomaly when it opened (prix fixe menu, chef counter seating) but was widely considered one of the most interesting restaurants in the city. That wasn't enough to keep it afloat, however, and the restaurant confirmed this week that it will close. 

2. Whole Foods Austin food hall goes next level with new vegan burger joint. Vegans, rejoice! (Or just people that like a good burger.) For the first time ever, Whole Foods' Lamar flagship is expanding its food hall to include an outside vendor. The Oregon-based chain will fire up its 100-percent vegan fare beginning this fall. 

3. Willie Nelson grows cannabis empire with new line of CBD oil products. Ah, Willie. Whether it's an outlaw tune or little something to help us relax, he always has the cure for what ails us. This week, the Red Headed Stranger announced he's expanding his line of marijuana products to include a new CBD oil appropriately named Willie's Remedy.

4. Austin coworking giant sticks a fork in company-bought meat. WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey made some folks smokin' mad this week when he announced that WeWork will begin banning meat at company functions and forbidding employees to pay for it on the company dime. How this shakes out in a barbecue city like Austin remains to be seen.

5. The splashy history of Austin's famous lakes and waterways. All anyone wants to do right now is jump into an ice-cold swimming hole, but did you know that Austin's lakes and waterways are more than just a refreshing spot for recreation? These lakes and waterways come with a rich history, and stories older than the city itself.