Anyone who has worked at a restaurant knows that it is exceedingly tough work, requiring attention long past the typical 9-to-5 grind. For Unit-D Pizzeria owner Shalou Barth, working on a new non-restaurant food venture while juggling motherhood ultimately proved to be too much. On May 10, she announced she was shuttering her popular Manor Road restaurant on May 18.
“It was a very difficult decision,” Barth tells CultureMap. “We have such an amazing following, but ultimately I’m just one person with a lot on my plate right now.”
Barth opened Unit-D at 2406 Manor Rd. in 2015 with money she won as a contestant on The Price Is Right. Since then, it has become one of the neighborhood's favorite spots, serving a menu of wood-fired pizzas, salads, and, occasionally, curries and naan during regular Indian Nights.
Although the closure will surely disappoint fans, it’s not all all bad news. Shalou says that Nic Patrizi, the proprietor of the Patrizi’s food truck, will be opening a new concept in the space by late summer. (The two restaurateurs have become close friends as operators of neighboring businesses.)
The details of Patrizi’s brick-and-mortar have not yet been set. Barth says the chef has yet to make a final concept decision, but it will not be similar to the food truck. Patrizi previously tried his luck with non-Italian cuisine in February 2016 with short-lived Cajun trailer Vic & Al’s at the Scoot Inn.
Barth also confirmed that Patrizi’s trailer will continue to operate as normal on the Butterfly Bar/Vortex Theater grounds.
As for Unit-D, Austinites have about a week left to say goodbye. The restaurant will operate with normal dinner service until May 18. And from May 13 to the last day, it will sell $2 craft pints as one final toast to the neighborhood that's supported the restaurant for four years.