A Taste of Austin

5 surprising restaurant closures that shook up Austin this year

5 surprising restaurant closures that shook up Austin this year

St. Philip Pizza and Wine
St. Philip from Uchi Restaurant Group closed after one year in operation. St. Philip/Facebook
Bess Bistro Austin restaurant interior
Celebrity-owned Bess Bistro was a West Sixth Street staple since 2006. Bess Bistro/Facebook
Restaurant Congress salmon belly dish
Restaurant Congress closes to make way for a Second Bar + Kitchen expansion. Congress Austin/Facebook
Freddie's Place Austin
Freddie's Place shuttered in late June. Freddie's Place/Facebook
Fork and Taco Austin
Fork and Taco closed suddenly after only one year in business on Burnet Road. Fork and Taco/Facebook
St. Philip Pizza and Wine
Bess Bistro Austin restaurant interior
Restaurant Congress salmon belly dish
Freddie's Place Austin
Fork and Taco Austin

Editor's note: Austin's ever-growing food scene witnessed some surprising shutters in 2015. While this list is not exhaustive, these five closures represent the biggest changes to the food scene.

Bess Bistro
Celebrity-owned Bess Bistro was a staple of West Sixth Street dining for nearly a decade, but Sandra Bullock's restaurant bid adieu in September 2015. Sister concept, Walton's Fancy and Staple, remains open, offering casual counter service to downtown diners.

Fork and Taco
The Burnet Road taco shop called it quits in December, after just one year in business. While trendy fare couldn't keep this restaurant afloat, Burnet's still bursting with taco shops — Torchy's Tacos, Taco Flats, and The Peached Tortilla to name a few.

Freddie's Place
South Austin favorite Freddie's Place shuttered in late June after a decade of Bloody Marys, live music, and comfort food. Taking its place? A new outpost of Fresa's Chicken al Carbon. 

St. Philip
Perhaps the most surprising shutter of the year comes from the Uchi Restaurant Group. St. Philip, the buzzed about pizza parlor that opened in November 2014, closed its doors after one year. The abrupt closure came shortly after the group ditched the bakery portion of the eatery to focus solely on pizza and dinner offerings.

Restaurant Congress
Signaling the growing trend of casual dining, Chef David Bull's fine dining concept, Restaurant Congress, will close January 1, 2016. After five years of service, Congress will make way for the expansion of sister restaurant, Second Bar + Kitchen, which has two more locations in the works.