au revoir enfin
Charming French bistro bids final farewell to Austin after long pandemic closure
As they do for any politician, circumstances have changed for Le Politique. The downtown Austin French bistro, which had been temporarily closed for two-and-a-half years, is officially closed for good.
CultureMap confirmed the permanent closure, first reported by Eater, with a representative of the New Waterloo hospitality group, who declined to provide more details.
The restaurant's initial 2020 announcement, brought about by the pandemic and thought to be temporary, was much wordier.
“It’s been a hard & unpredictable year,” Le Politique posted on Instagram in May of 2020. “Even prior to COVID-19, we faced obstacles as the Northshore building underwent repairs and our block was covered in scaffolding — leaving our storefront looking shuttered & patio unusable.”
Over the years, the bistro's messaging remained hopeful overall, several times delaying a definitive end. But the closure is now official, and moving in is celebrity chef Michael Mina, whose restaurant group will take over the 2nd Street District space, Eater reports.
Le Politique never shied away from rich flavors, with luxe menu items such as baked whole lobster, bone marrow, and escargot, plus deluxe everyday items like a cheese-smothered burger. Its bakery put out a range of traditional French pastries, plus creatively flavored macarons.
“The Politician,” in English, referred not to any modern affiliation, but to the general air of the Capital City itself. While the restaurant’s politics were not a real talking point, it did have the charisma of a well-liked, local politician: devoted to the classics, but taking them on with a rogue spirit. The restaurant frequently participated in local festivals and social fundraising initiatives.
Executive pastry chef Melissa Carrol was nominated for CultureMap’s Tastemaker Awards in 2018 and 2019, and has been active in community events, representing the restaurant despite its latency.
The restaurant will clearly be missed; even despite the radio silence, commenters on the farewell post have been returning regularly to offer encouragement and even pleas for Le Politique to return.
“Thank you for your understanding & support of Le Politique over the last few years,” concluded the restaurant’s final Instagram post. “We opened our doors in hopes of becoming a bright neighborhood spot for our downtown neighbors to gather & make their own, and we hope to do so again someday.”