Austin has lost an iconic restaurant to the coronavirus-slammed economy. The owners of Magnolia Cafe — a proud carrier of the “Keep Austin Weird” torch — announced April 16 that they’ve permanently closed their location on Lake Austin Boulevard.
In a Facebook post, the owners said business had been slowing at the Tarrytown restaurant for the past few years. But the “huge hit” from the city’s mandate to temporarily halt dine-in operations and “the incredible uncertainty of the future” forced Magnolia Cafe’s owners “to confront the fact that this location will not survive,” according to the post.
“To our neighbors and loyal customers of that location for so many years, thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” the owners wrote. The West Austin location opened in 1979.
Magnolia Cafe’s location on South Congress Avenue remains in business, but it’s closed for now and will reopen “when it is safe to do so,” the Facebook post says.
Both locations had offered curbside pickup after Austin Mayor Steve Adler issued a citywide stay-at-home order, which includes a ban on dine-in service at restaurants, though it ended up stopping the service.
“The more we learned about how the new coronavirus spreads, the more we have realized the best way we can support our community in these strange times is to temporarily close our doors and help the global effort to keep this virus from spreading,” according to the Magnolia Cafe website.
The eclectic menu at Magnolia Cafe features breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner options. But the restaurant is perhaps best known for its breakfast fare, including gingerbread pancakes, the T. Rex turkey and cheese omelet, Love Migas, and Eggs Zapatino (scrambled eggs on a toasted English muffin smothered in queso and served with home fries).
Other Magnolia Cafe specialties include Mag Mud queso, pasta Alfredo, and the Magnolia brownie.
Representatives of Magnolia Cafe couldn’t be reached for comment.