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.
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.
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.
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.
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.