One of Austin's best loved brunch spots — not to mention one of its few women-led kitchens — is closing. On October 18, chef Callie Speer announced that Holy Roller will close after three years in business. The last day of business was Sunday, October 18, but the brunch-all-day eatery is promising "one last badass brunch" this coming weekend.
"When I opened Holy Roller in the summer of 2017, I wanted to preserve a piece of the soul of this city that I love so dearly, and give you guys something a little against the grain. Well… and I wanted to sell some biscuits," Speer wrote.
When it launched on Rio Grande Street in 2017, Holy Roller was one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year, thanks in part to Speer's reputation as a boundary-busting pastry chef at places like Swift's Attic and Geraldine's. At Holy Roller, Speer flexed her culinary prowess, offering up a decadent and delightful menu of comfort food classics like meatloaf and fried chicken sandwiches and innovative Tex-Mex fare like migas kolaches.
The Instagram-worthy, rock-and-roll-inspired interiors made it a favorite of tourists and locals alike, while the cuisine landed Speer on best-of lists and gave her a space among Austin's top chefs — one of the few women in the elite circle.
In an interview with Austin360, Speer says Holy Roller was unable to find its financial footing amid the ongoing pandemic. Between COVID-19 restrictions and a lack of tourism, sales were down 50 percent over the same time last year.
Despite Holy Roller's closure, Speer wrote that she's optimistic about the future. "This has been an amazing ride. And, by now, you all know I always have a fun surprise up my sleeve," she said.
Until then, join Holy Roller October 24-25, from 10 am-3 pm, for one last goodbye. Details have yet to be announced, but follow along on the restaurant's social media channels to find out more information throughout the week.