The time has come to say goodbye to Players, the University of Texas campus icon that has fueled thousands of students with late-night burgers and beers since it first opened in 1981. According to a recent post on its website, Players will officially close its doors on November 23.
"We genuinely enjoyed serving the beautiful city of Austin for the last 33 years," management said in the announcement. "Hopefully we were able to leave you with lasting memories, whether you were a University of Texas student looking for a quick bite between classes or devoted state employees making your regular rounds for lunch."
CultureMap reported earlier this year that the campus staple would be closing in November after UT terminated Players' lease.
The struggle between Players and the university has gone on for years. Both parties eventually came to an agreement in 2012 after UT officially acquired the property. Under that agreement, the restaurant owners were paid $3 million in cash and given a lease valued at $1 million under which they could operate rent-free for up to 10 years. However, UT retained the ability to terminate the lease at any point as long as they gave six months notice. Players co-owners Carlos Oliviera and Edward Hempe received that notice in May 2014.
The initial revelation of Players' closing forced everyone associated with the burger joint to reflect on what made the past three decades so special. "To last as long as we have is a great accomplishment," Oliveira told CultureMap in August. "We just really love the support we've had from students, faculty, alumni, athletes, coaches and Capitol employees. It was always really special seeing a second generation of students coming in after seeing their parents as regulars back when we first opened."
At the time Oliveira also told CultureMap that there were no plans to relocate because of the difficulty of finding a space that fit both their needs and their budget.
For those who have grabbed a bite or a pint at Players, there's still time to squeeze in a last meal. Just try not to shed a tear in your beer, especially since the restaurant's announcement ended on a sentimental note. "Thank you very much and you'll always be part of the Players Family. Thanks for the memories ... it's been a great run."