Another One Bites the Dust

Popular Tex-Mex chain suddenly closes downtown Austin outpost

Popular Tex-Mex chain suddenly closes downtown Austin outpost

Cantina Laredo
Austin's Cantina Laredo closed its doors on July 21. Photo courtesy of Cantina Laredo

Here we go again: Another restaurant has closed. On Thursday, downtown Tex-Mex restaurant Cantina Laredo announced its immediate closure.

Cantina Laredo was scheduled to close Saturday, but a miscommunication with a health inspector led to a somewhat dramatic shutter during lunch service.

"I wanted to close down the restaurant in a dignified manner," says proprietor Al LoCascio in a press release. "It's a difficult day to end 11 years of hard work and success under unfortunate circumstances."

Known for its table-side guacamole and drink specials, Cantina Laredo is a Dallas-based restaurant chain with locations across the U.S. LoCascio, a graduate of the University of Texas, opened the Austin outpost in 2003. Since then, Cantina Laredo has become a staple of the 2nd Street District restaurant and bar scene.

"Due to the amount of competitors that saturated the area and high overhead costs, Consolidated Restaurant Operations decided to close the restaurant," says the release. 

"At some point you have to be realistic with the things you have accomplished and what makes sense with the bottom line," said LoCascio. "We had decided to pass the torch on and allow a new concept to enrich the experience of the 2nd Street District."

Consolidated Restaurant Operations also owns III Forks, as well as a handful of other small chains in the U.S. There's no word yet regarding what will take over the space.