North Carolina-based Rise Biscuit and Donuts may have a cult-like following in the Deep South, but the buzz wasn’t enough to keep its only Austin location in business. Just nine months after opening, the outpost at 2522 Guadalupe St. has shuttered.
Most of the restaurant's signage has been removed and a lease sign is now installed in the shop window, something first spotted on December 10 by a Reddit user. The franchise's Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages have also been deleted. CultureMap made multiple attempts to reach out to both Rise's corporate office and local franchisee, but has not received confirmation of the closure date as of press time.
After a series of delays, Rise took over the former location of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in April. The menu of classic and new school doughnuts, biscuit sandwiches, and chicken strips seemed poised for success, especially given the Austin biscuit craze that brought shops such as Bird Bird Biscuits and Confituras Little Kitchen to town.
But uneven service may have contributed to its demise. Yelp users reported a variety of missteps, from almost empty display cases to long wait times. Closing at 2 pm, the store also didn’t align with the unconventional dining habits of university students, presumably its main customer base given its location on the Drag.
The franchise also had to deal with the strip’s ever-escalating costs. The address has seen a revolving door of concepts over the past decade. Mediterranean restaurant Arpeggio Grill lasted two years before folding in 2012, a move owner Fida Shah partly attributed to high rent, according to The Daily Texan. Fort Worth chain Fuzzy’s Taco Shop had a longer go at it, closing in 2017 after taking over the space the space shortly after Arpeggio’s shutter.
The Guadalupe Street Rise was the last location of the chain in the Lone Star State. A location in Allen near DFW also failed to last a full year, opening in April 2017 and closing in December. That same month, the restaurant shared an ambitious growth plan with Eater, projecting the opening of 130 new stores in 2018. That didn’t pan out for Rise, which only saw a modest six shops debut that year. The brand currently has not revealed any future plans for Texas expansion.