Surprising Shutter

Acclaimed East Austin restaurant closes its doors in surprising announcement

Acclaimed Austin restaurant closes doors in surprising announcement

Gardner_Austin restaurant_gnuddi with mushrooms_2015
Vegetable-focused Gardner will close March 11. Gardner/Facebook

There's something in the water. Yet another acclaimed Austin restaurant has announced that it's closing its doors. Gardner, the high-end restaurant from the team behind wildly successful Contigo, will serve its last meal March 11. 

The restaurant opened in fall 2014 with a menu focused on "seasonal vegetables, simply prepared and elegantly executed." Dishes were served as snacks, shareable plates, entrees, and desserts. The focus on vegetables, however, did not make Gardner a meat-free space. The bar menu proudly highlighted a happy hour burger, and the dinner menu featured dishes like rib eye, beef tartare, duck confit, and more.

Plans are in the works to flip the space into Chicon, a new restaurant concept from the same team, led by Ben Edgerton and Chef Andrew Wiseheart. 

"Ultimately, our goal is to serve our community well, and we are excited to work diligently to transform the Gardner space into a new restaurant that will accomplish that goal," says Edgerton in a release.

"With Chicon, my goal is to make the food that my team and I love to eat. We’re excited to make food for the every day. We’re still going to be using the same ingredients, have the same drive, and we seek to create a place that people in the neighborhood will love," echoes Wiseheart of the new concept, which appears to take a more casual approach to dining.

Gardner joins a slew of high-end — and relatively new — Austin restaurants that have abruptly closed. Earlier this month it was Arro; January saw the shuttering of East Austin restaurants laV and Mettle.

Chicon's soft opening is scheduled for late March, after renovations are completed.