Iconic Austin pizza chain folds once-popular Guadalupe Street location
The strip of Guadalupe Street near Hyde Park ain’t what it used to be. Following a string of closures over the past two years, many buildings are sitting vacant, and new businesses seem none too eager to rush in. Now, another concept has folded on the once-vibrant thoroughfare.
An employee of the Mr. Gatti’s Pizza at 3711 Guadalupe St. tells CultureMap that the long-running location closed December 30. Neither that staff member nor a representative reached via Facebook could confirm the reason for the shutter.
A lease listing from local real estate firm Weitzman, however, shows a new building proposed for the lot. CultureMap has reached out to the company for more information.
Mr. Gatti’s has been a staple of Austin’s restaurant scene since founder James Eure relocated his Stephenville, Texas, pizzeria in 1969. In 2004, the chain was acquired by Blue Sage Capital before being bought out by Fort Worth-based Sovrano in 2015.
Although Sovrano filed for bankruptcy in January, the move did not affect the majority of Austin locations. Except for the Gattitown located in the South Park Meadows shopping center at 9900 I-35, all local outposts are now owned by Three Dough Boys, LLC.
That sale caused a pizza panic in September 2018 when it was revealed that two of the three new operators in the franchise investment group were alumni of Papa John’s. In a release, the new owners promised to keep the original recipes and feel of the chain while making a few cosmetic upgrades to the older stores.
At the time, the owners also said that they would develop 10 new locations in the Austin area. The timeframe for the store openings remains undisclosed.
Meanwhile, the proposed redevelopment of the Gatti’s lot at 38th and Guadalupe Street will be a rare bright spot on the aging strip. A wave of 2019 closures and relocations have left many nearby buildings empty, including the former homes of La Tazza Fresca, Korean Komfort, and Natural Grocer.