Good news and bad news

Popular South Austin tapas bar closes for good as acclaimed Mexican restaurant moves in

South Austin tapas bar closes for good as Mexican restaurant moves in

El Chipiron
El Chipirón shuttered after two years in business.   El Chipiron/Facebook
El Naranjo Austin
El Naranjo will open its second outpost September 17. El Naranjo/Facebook
El Chipiron
El Naranjo Austin

It’s out with tapas and in with tlayudas at 2717 S. Lamar Blvd. After two years in business, popular South Austin Spanish restaurant El Chipirón has closed for good.

The news was revealed in a release from El Naranjo, the acclaimed Oaxacan restaurant from 2019 James Beard Awards semifinalist Iliana de la Vega. The restaurant will open a second location at the former home of El Chipirón in just two weeks, on September 17.

El Chipirón appears to have quietly shuttered in late June. Owner Pablo Gomez closed the restaurant to take care of maintenance issues, at the time billing the closure as temporary. The restaurant, a highlight of Austin's ever-shrinking Spanish dining scene, had been in operation since June 2017.

Although El Naranjo has made a few cosmetic changes to the space, it will employ the same basic footprint as the former tenant, including the wraparound 22-seat bar. Unlike its original location on bustling Rainey Street, the new spot will also boast ample parking.

The menu, however, will be identical to the Rainey Street outpost. Diners can expect several dishes using house-made masa, a variety of moles, and a full bar with a focus on tequila and mezcal.

For now, the South Austin El Naranjo will be open for dinner, Tuesday through Saturday, 5:30-10 pm. A rep tells CultureMap that customers can look forward to expanded hours in the coming months.