One of bars that transformed West Sixth Street into a bustling entertainment district is now closed. On February 17, J. Black’s Feel Good Lounge announced on Facebook it was throwing in the towel after more than 10 years in business.
After opening in 2007, J. Black’s quickly became popular as a downtown destination for brunch and dinner, as well as a home bar for local Philadelphia Eagles fans. But like other bars in the West Sixth district, it has faced increasing competition from other hubs like Rainey Street, East Sixth Street, and Rock Rose in Domain Northside. In 2016, a group of area business owners formed the West Sixth Business Association to help revitalize the area and combat the district’s hard-partying reputation.
Owners Manera Restaurant Group did not give a reason for the shutter, instead using the post to thank patrons and former and current employees. The company has had previous struggles with the J. Black’s brand. The Dallas location closed in 2015 after less than five years in business, and the Houston outpost closed in January 2017 so the company could focus on their Austin properties.
The shutter leaves newly opened Lamar Union seafood concept TLC as the only restaurant operating under the Manera banner. Partner Sean Fric (who also co-owns South Austin's The Golden Goose with wife Ashley Fric) also recently branched out with Colleen’s Kitchen, but the Mueller eatery is not part of the hospitality group.
Read the full Facebook statement below:
Farewell West Sixth,
Since we opened in the summer of 2007, it's been our absolute pleasure to serve the thousands and thousands of patrons we were lucky enough to have come enjoy our space. From the crazy packed weekends and UT game days to simply enjoying, alongside our hundreds of dedicated regulars over the years, the experience of watching West Sixth grow along with Austin. It's been a true privilege.
As much as we appreciate Austin and all our guests over the years, we couldn't have done it, been as successful, nor lasted for over a decade without the blood, sweat and energy (and a few tears) put into our place especially by our dedicated managers and also our employees, that numbered in the hundreds. They were the engine in front and behind the scenes that made J. Black's so special to so many. We sincerely thank you.
So please, come celebrate with us one last time this weekend. There will be plenty of familiar faces around to toast and reminisce with over a drink or two.
Cheers Austin. Feel Good. Now.
The J. Black's Family