The wave of restaurant closures has claimed another Austin spot. Al Fico, the relatively new Italian eatery on the east side, shuttered without warning on Tuesday. A note posted to the restaurant's website cites a lease dispute.
"Osteria Al Fico announced today that after the inability to renegotiate its lease agreement, the authentic Italian restaurant has officially closed its doors. Owners Jeff Courington and Kelly Bell have confirmed that this will be permanent," reads the statement.
Al Fico's dramatic closure just six months after opening comes as a surprise for a variety of reasons. Not only was the concept in the works for two long years before it finally opened last fall, but it also debuted to critical acclaim as part of Austin's ongoing fascination with Italian fare. The neighborhood restaurant was the brainchild of the seasoned team behind Hyde Park's beloved Vino Vino.
"Al Fico would like to personally thank each and every customer, investor, and team member for the hard work and dedication that [led] to a well-built and comfortable place to enjoy authentic Italian food and wine," the statement concludes.
Al Fico joins a growing list of high-end — and relatively new — restaurants that have abruptly closed. In 2016, we have seen the departure of Gardner, Arro, laV, and Mettle from Austin's dining scene.