original dish society shutters
Popular Houston eatery shutters original location weeks after move to Austin
Weeks after opening its first Austin outpost, Houston's Dish Society has closed cut back on home field locations. The farm to table neighborhood restaurant recently closed its original Tanglewood location (5740 San Felipe St.).
The Austin eatery opened December 21, and represented a homecoming of sorts for founder Aaron Lyons, who went to school at the University of Texas at Austin. It is the restaurant's first location outside of the Houston area.
The recently closed location was in operation since January 2014, and served as proof of concept for Lyons’s vision of an all-day cafe that serves affordable comfort food made with locally-sourced ingredients. The initial location’s success paved the way for the restaurant to grow to its current outposts in Katy, West U/Southside Place, Memorial, and the Heights — and, of course, Austin. All of those locations remain open and unaffected by the Tanglewood location’s closure.
In response to CultureMap’s request for comment about the decision to close the restaurant, Lyons notes Dish Society opted not to renew its lease. The original location’s smaller footprint no longer matched the capabilities of its sister restaurants.
“Our 10-year lease was up at the end of the year, and we chose not to renew,” Lyons tells us. “The original space was too small and would require too many costly improvements to bring it up to our standard and make it make sense for another five-plus years.”
In addition, roughly half of the location’s sales come from to-go orders or those placed via third party apps, Lyons adds. The Memorial and West U restaurants will be able to fulfill most of those needs. Despite the closure, Lyons believes in the neighborhood.
“We like the area and are grateful to have received support for the first Dish Society there, but we'll be patient in finding the next right opportunity," he says.