THAI DOWN

Groundbreaking South Austin restaurant closes after sale of original location

Groundbreaking Austin eatery closes after sale of original location

Sway West Lake Hills
Sway has closed its South Austin location, but its West Lake Hills outpost remains open for takeout, delivery, and in-person dining. Photo by Nick Simonite

Another darling of the Austin restaurant scene has met its end. Sway, the award-winning modern Thai eatery, permanently shuttered its original location in Bouldin Creek.

Sway’s location at 1417 S. First St., first opened in 2012, closed proactively March 16, 2020, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with all other restaurants under the New Waterloo umbrella, but it never reopened. The closure came as hospitality management company New Waterloo was already considering the sale of the property, a move hastened by the pandemic.

“We had already been exploring selling the asset prior to the pandemic, and the severity of the pandemic made it apparent it would be the right choice for our company,” says Delfo Trombetta, president of New Waterloo, who confirms the sale of the property was finalized in late 2020.

Though New Waterloo declined to name the buyer, Eater Austin reports French-inspired gastropub Hopfields is moving into the space with a concept to be known as Hopfields Bouldin Creek. A permit filed with the city in December supports that account, though a Hopfields rep did not reply to media requests about the rumored purchase.

Sway’s location in West Lake Hills remains open for dine-in, curbside pickup, and delivery service. Sway at Rock Rose at The Domain Northside is also currently closed, though it’s unclear whether that location will reopen.

“There are still too many unknown variables to give a definitive update on our temporarily-closed locations,” Trombetta says. “We are optimistic that we will be able to keep welcoming our community to our West Lake Hills location for many years to come.”

Sway’s social media hinted at the closure of the South Austin location as long ago as last summer. A post from May 2020 noted: “Sway means community. It’s the driving force behind our style of food, seating, service, and every decision we make — including the difficult decision to run all Sway operations solely out of our West Lake Hills location for the foreseeable future. ⁠Not knowing if and when we will open our doors again on South First and Rock Rose is hard to bear, but making this decision now felt necessary to do what is best for our teams and guests: allow them to move forward as needed and focus our efforts on ensuring Sway West Lake Hills delivers the best experience possible.⁠ It will be months before we can make a final determination on whether reopening our other two locations in any capacity will make operational and financial sense, and we believe Sway West Lake Hills is the best positioned to operate safely.”

Trombetta encourages Sway fans to continue to support the West Lake Hills location, which has remained opened in some capacity for the bulk of the pandemic.

“The West Lake Hills location is currently open for dine-in guests with both indoor and outdoor seating, in addition to curbside take-away and delivery through partnerships with Favor and UberEats,” Trombetta says. “We’d love to have our community experience Sway at our West Lake Hills location if they have not yet. The view of Austin’s skyline from our open-air rooftop deck is truly special. We greatly appreciate our take-away business and also have gift cards available for purchase that can be used for dine-in or take-away.”