A new chapter

New York-style eatery folds as upscale taqueria moves into troubled East Austin space

Eatery folds as upscale taqueria moves into troubled East Austin space

Gotham Austin Reuben
Tacos will soon replace sandwiches at Gotham's East Austin address. Gotham/ Facebook

First the bad news: Gotham, a New York City-themed restaurant, closed on October 16 after a brief run. But its 1700 E. Second St. space won’t stay empty for long. A new upscale taqueria is moving into the troubled East Austin property.

Owner Nick Goulding announced the closure via a post on Gotham’s Facebook page. “We had a good run for eighteen months,” Goulding wrote, “but we fell short of the foot traffic we needed to keep the wolf from the door.”

Goulding and wife Jessica opened Gotham in July 2018, taking over the space vacated by Italian eatery Al Fico. The latter restaurant buckled in May 2016 after a brief six-month run, citing a rent dispute.

Gotham was inspired by the energy of the Goulding's favorite Big Apple restaurants and bars and served a hodgepodge of dishes ranging from chicken and waffles to pizza. In January, Gotham introduced an assortment of bistro fare to take advantage of newly hired chef Patrick Wickett's classic French training. 

In the post, Goulding candidly attributed the closure to a lack of business. A request for further comment was not returned.

A new upscale taqueria, however, is hoping to change that. Reunión 19, specializing in classic Mexican fare and handcrafted designer cocktails, will be helmed by chefs Christopher Haydostian and Esdras Ochoa.

Ochoa's name will undoubtedly be familiar to foodies. As the founder of Mexicali Taco & Co and partner at Salazar, he is among Los Angeles’ most talked about chefs. His appearance on Netflix’s much-hyped 2018 series The Final Table further raised his profile.

Reunión 19 will debut in early 2020, but the team tells CultureMap that the menu is still in development.

"It'll still be fresh ingredients, authentic recipes, and killer handcrafted beverages to match," says a restaurant rep. "We will definitely have tacos."