By LYNETTE HAALAND,Four Points News
Black Walnut Cafe, Zoës Kitchen, Galaxy Cafe, Schlotzky’s and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are all closed permanently in the Four Points area. Feedback from most indicates that the coronavirus pandemic is the main reason behind the closures.
Black Walnut Cafe
Black Walnut Cafe closed permanently this week after seven years in Four Points, its first location outside of its homebase in the Houston market.
“It is with a heavy heart that we must announce we have decided to permanently close,” was the message posted on Black Walnut’s website.
Located in River Place at 10817 RM 2222, Black Walnut opened November 2013 and then a year later it opened a second cafe in Austin Commons by the Domain. Both closed June 22. The chain has seven restaurants in the Houston market and five in the Dallas market.
Black Walnut extended heartfelt gratitude to guests in its website message.
“We know it has been a challenging time and we especially appreciate your support over the last few months as we adapted to to-go orders only and even as we reopened our dining rooms,” the announcement said. “As we continue to work through this unprecedented situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the best course of action we could take for our operations and teams as a whole.”
The wood paneling, high back chairs, belt driven fans and the chain’s first dog-friendly patio will be missed by local customers.
Heather Moseley Smith posted on Facebook, “We were just there last week and there was a good crowd! This stinks.”
“Oh no! This makes me so sad. I loved eating there,” posted Jenny Wyman.
“This was one of my favorite places,” posted Kathleen Amodeo Ronk.
Sarah Markley Regier posted “This is sad…. please support our local businesses more than ever.”
Two of the seven Zoës Kitchen restaurants in the Austin market have not reopened since their March COVID-19 closures: Four Points and Georgetown.
The sign is down at the River Place location and the eatery has been cleaned out. A staffer at another Zoës in Austin said, “I believe that (the Four Points location) is a permanent closure.”
The corporate team did not confirm that yet however.
“While many restaurants will remain open with the new hours, select restaurants will be closed for the time being, specifically Zoës Kitchen Four Points. Unfortunately, we don’t have a concrete re-opening date just yet,” said Maya, a customer service representative.
She further said that “the health and safety of our guests, our team Members, and our communities is our top priority, we have adjusted operating hours across all locations.”
Zoës opened in January 2018 at River Place’s 2222 Station retail site neighboring Black Walnut.
On May 8, officials at Galaxy Cafe shared with staffers that the Steiner Ranch location near the Quinlan Park Road and RM 620 intersection was closing permanently. The local chain opened the site about 18 months ago.
Company leaders cite hardship from the coronavirus pandemic as the main reason behind the timing of the closure.
The restaurant closed temporarily on March 20 but on May 8, workers got the message of closing permanently.
“We are sorry to announce that Jay, Kelly and I have made the decision that we will be closing Galaxy Cafe at Steiner Ranch permanently.”
“As everyone is aware, the COVID-19 outbreak has been devastating to the restaurant industry and our company has certainly been affected as well,” the message to staffers stated.
“We have encountered many hardships since we made the decision to temporarily close all of our restaurants on March 20th. We have decided that the best way to ensure the survival of our company during this crisis is to close down Galaxy at Steiner and put all of our financial and human resources into the remaining Galaxy Cafes and Top Notch.”
The company offered the Steiner staff employment opportunities at other Galaxy sites located on Mesa Drive, at Brodie Lane and at West Lynn. The company also runs the Top Notch Hamburgers on Burnet Road.
Loryn Franco, director of PR and communications at Schlotzsky’s, confirmed that Schlotzsky’s in the Trails at 620 off of RM 620 also closed. The couple who owns the restaurant happens to be the chain’s largest franchisee, and at one point they had over 30 locations, Franco said.
“Like many small business owners, we were unable to survive the pandemic, but we are hopeful that Schlotzsky’s will return to Four Points in the near future,” said franchisee Jackie Albert. “In the meantime, come visit us at Maconda Park West or Bee Cave.”
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf did not respond to emails and telephone calls from the Four Points News for a report in May. It is not clear if all four Austin area locations are permanently closed but none of the phone numbers work and its Steiner Ranch location has “For Lease” signs in the windows.Toggle panel: Quick Page/Post Redirect