Offering prix-fixe dishes and a server-less dining experience, Congress Avenue’s Counter 3. Five. VII was always an anomaly in a local dining scene dominated by more approachable concepts. Now the experiment is ending.
Counter's executive chef Alan Delgado confirmed to CultureMap on July 17 that the upscale restaurant will be closing at the end of the month. Although he did not elaborate on the reason for the closure, he did say that owner Eric Earthman has put the restaurant up for sale after a little more than three years in business. Lauren Talbot, the assistant manager of Counter, says that July 28 will be the last service.
Delgado, who joined the Counter team in December 2017 after leaving his gig at coffee shop Patika, was the latest in a line of staff shuffles beginning shortly after the eatery opened in March 2015. Founder and executive chef Lawrence Kocurek left the restaurant in July 2015, a few months after its debut, to spend more time with his family.
His replacement, the restaurant’s former sous chef, Damien Brockway, left the restaurant in October 2017 to helm P6 at The Line Austin hotel, eventually parting ways with that project to open his own concept.
With Delgado at the helm, Counter took a detour from its traditional prix-fixe dinner service to offer lunch in the restaurant’s lounge area. The coursed counter offerings — which inspired the restaurant’s name — were also tweaked to include a la carte table service.
Delgado tells CultureMap that the sold-out July 29 edition of his Tumahye supper club — a collaboration with Philip Speer, ex-Apis chef Adam Brick, and Yoni Lang from Dallas’ Mirasol — will take place as scheduled at Counter. He is currently looking for other venues to host the series.