AnyPlace MD, a Cedar Park-based business offering COVID-19 testing and symptom monitoring, has seen a change in consumer demand.
In early April, the company hosted its first antibody testing event in Austin. "The demand was massive," CEO Shane Stevens said. But subsequent events, including a drive-thru testing site at Circuit of The Americas, prompted less interest.
Stevens attributes this to growing doubt about antibody testing and questions about its efficacy.
The initial popularity of antibody testing was, in part, a response to a lack of regular COVID-19 tests. Antibody tests detect whether a person has developed an immunologic response to the virus—which may or may not confer immunity—and they were offered as a chance to give patients peace of mind and researchers a better sense of how widely COVID-19 has spread within communities.
Last month, local primary care centers began offering pinprick tests, promising results in 15 minutes. But health authorities quickly responded, warning that the tests varied in quality, risked false results and could not prove immunity.
To combat this, AnyPlace MD has partnered with the city of Austin and area nursing homes on testing initiatives. "By partnering with these groups, we have a more defined audience," he said. "It's going to be based really on need versus an assumption that there's a want for the testing."
Today, antibody tests are more stringently regulated. The FDA's initial policy, set in mid-March, was updated May 4 to prevent companies from falsely claiming their tests were approved by the agency.
But challenges remain.
Eric Olson is the CEO of Austin-based medical technology company Babson Diagnostics, which launched its own antibody test on April 30. He is hopeful that antibody tests can regain the public's trust.
"Number one, we need to be really careful about what we say that we're doing," he said. "We're providing a test that can tell you whether or not you've got antibodies. It's not a test that can tell you whether or not you've got immunity. And that's just got to be a clear line that you draw."
In a controlled setting, antibody testing may be able to help workplaces return to normal.
Dr. Andrea Natale, who directs the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David's Medical Center, and a team of researchers, have been working on the Austin COVID-19 Protection Project.
Since March, they have tested more than 700 people within the Austin health care community—including EMTs, patients and hospital staff—using a combination of diagnostic tests and antibody tests.
"If you combine both, you can start testing large numbers of people quickly," Dr. Natale said. "Once you reach a critical mass of tested people and you isolate the positives, then it becomes a very safe environment to be around each other without worry [of getting] sick."
Total Men's Primary Care, which has 16 locations in and around Austin, was one of the first places to offer antibody testing locally. It has since expanded its services to women and children and recently received the first shipment of FDA-approved Cellex tests sent outside of New York, CEO Robert Sek said.
The company is expanding its services to include on-site antibody testing for employers. Austin companies that have expressed interest include dental offices, restaurants, construction companies and a car dealership. "It's not diagnostic in nature, but it's trying to get another piece of information or data," Sek said. "That could be useful for them."
Antibody tests will also improve as companies refine their models. Babson is already working on its second iteration.
"We do think that there's a significant probability that this disease is something that we'll have to deal with year in and year out," Olson said, adding that testing for COVID-19 antibodies could become as normalized as checking one's cholesterol or glucose levels. "And if that's the case, we believe pretty strongly that serology testing is going to become a routine blood test."
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The upcoming Nov. 3 election is set to be a historic one—in Austin and around the country.
The Travis County Clerk's office expects as many as 100,000 voters will apply for a mail-in ballot by the Oct. 23 deadline, and it has already received nearly double the number of applications it did for the 2016 general election.
"It is most definitely COVID," County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir told Austonia earlier this month. "People are afraid to come inside."
Ahead of Election Day, we've rounded up key dates to remember, a guide to voting by mail and some background on the major races at the local, state and federal levels.
Mark your calendars<ul><li>Last day to register to vote: Monday, Oct. 5<ul><li>Travis County residents can fill out a voter registration application <u><a href="https://travis.go2gov.net/voterreg/vexpress/registration.do" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a></u> or find out if they are registered <a href="https://www.votetravis.com/vexpress/display.do" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><u>here</u></a>.</li></ul></li><li>Early voting: Tuesday, Oct. 13 to Friday, Oct. 30<ul><li>Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. You can find a list of Travis County early voting locations below: </li></ul></li></ul><iframe src="https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=17x85RnH1fkaaaH7GW091vVUYKsYOwKsq" width="640" height="480"></iframe>
How to apply for a mail-in ballot<p>In Texas, only certain voters are eligible to vote by mail. They include: people who are 65 years or older; out of the country during the entire election period; sick or disabled; in jail.</p><p>Eligible voters must apply for a mail-in ballot by Friday, Oct. 23. The application form, which can be found <a href="https://countyclerk.traviscountytx.gov/images/pre/pdf_tc_elections_ABBM_2018.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><u>here</u></a>, must be mailed to the following address and received by that date.</p><p>Dana DeBeauvoir<br>Travis County Clerk - Elections Division<br>P.O. Box 149325<br>Austin, TX 78714</p><p>Given the <a href="https://austonia.com/vote-by-mail-challenges" target="_self"><u>turmoil at the U.S. Postal Service</u></a>, DeBeauvoir recommends eligible voters who wish to vote by mail submit their applications as soon as they can.</p><p>Once you receive your mail-in ballot, fill it out per the instructions and return it. It must be postmarked by or on Election Day and received the following business day. </p><p>Voters who wish to hand-deliver their mail-in ballot can do so at four drive-thru locations starting Thursday, Oct. 1. Voters can only hand-deliver their own ballot and must present an acceptable form of ID.</p><ul><li>5501 Airport Blvd. (use the tax office's drive-thru payment lanes)</li><li>700 Lavaca St. (at either the Lavaca or Guadalupe entrance to the parking garage)</li><li>1010 Lavaca St. (enter the parking lot from W. 11th St. between Guadalupe and Lavaca streets)</li></ul><div>The hours for these locations are as follows:</div><ul><li>Thursday, Oct. 1 to Monday, Oct. 12: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.</li><li>Tuesday, Oct. 13 to Sunday, Nov. 1: Monday-Saturday 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday noon-6 p.m.</li><li>Monday, Nov. 2: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.</li><li>Tuesday, Nov. 3: 7 a.m.-7 p.m.</li></ul><img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0NjY1My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1Nzg2MzI0Nn0.8t3qtL-7eVF-q58CjbHbHpB2VzDjmgfbnyWVmM9aPqU/img.jpg?width=1200&coordinates=0%2C1442%2C0%2C1057&height=800" id="cf79a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c3fa3b83962ea2d96f827907f03e8180" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The last day to apply for a mail-in ballot in Texas is Fri., Oct. 23. Unlike most states, Texas only allows voters who meet certain eligibility requirements to vote by mail.
Races to watch<p><em>President </em></p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">President Donald Trump faces off against Democratic candidate Joe Biden. The last time a Democratic candidate won in Texas was <a href="https://apps.texastribune.org/features/2020/texas-general-election-ballot/?_ga=2.65352878.1438238273.1601300916-1550764229.1583782951" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><u>in 1976</u></a>, when Jimmy Carter was on the ballot. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">According to <a href="https://texaspolitics.utexas.edu/blog/texas-2020-presidential-poll-tracker" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><u>a poll tracker</u></a> compiled by the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, Trump is favored to win Texas in three of four polls conducted this month. The fourth poll predicts a tie. </p> <p><em>U.S. Senate</em></p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">Three-term incumbent Sen. John Cornyn is seeking his fourth term against combat veteran and self-described "badass" MJ Hegar. Cornyn has vastly outraised Hegar, but Democrats are hopeful that <a href="https://austonia.com/john-cornyn-mj-hegar-texas-senate-race" target="_self"><u>their candidate can win</u></a>.</p> <p><em>U.S. House</em></p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">Travis County is <a href="https://redistricting.capitol.texas.gov/docs/19R0036_116th_Congressional_Tabloid_2020_06_02.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><u>spliced into five congressional districts</u></a>, three of which the Texas Tribune has identified as <a href="https://apps.texastribune.org/features/2020/texas-general-election-ballot/?_ga=2.65352878.1438238273.1601300916-1550764229.1583782951" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><u>"races to watch"</u></a> this November. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">U.S. House District 10 incumbent Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, faces Democratic candidate Mike Siegel. U.S. House District 21 incumbent Rep. Chip Roy, R-Austin, faces Democrat, and former gubernatorial candidate, Wendy Davis. And U.S. House District 25 incumbent Rep. Roger WIlliams, R-Austin, faces Democratic candidate Julie Oliver. </p> <p><em>Texas Senate</em></p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">Travis County is represented by <a href="https://redistricting.capitol.texas.gov/docs/19R0036_86th_Senate_Tabloid_2020_07_31.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><u>four members of the state Senate</u></a>, two of whom are up for reelection this November. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">District 21 State Sen. Judith Zaffrini, D-Laredo, will face Republican candidate Frank Pomeroy, and District 24 State Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway, will face Democratic candidate Clayton Tucker. </p> <p><em>Texas House</em></p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">Travis County is represented by <a href="https://redistricting.capitol.texas.gov/docs/19R0036_86th_House_Tabloid_2020_02_06.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><u>five members of the state House</u></a>. One of those members, District 47 incumbent Rep. Vikki Goodwin, D-Austin, faces Republican challenger Justin Berry, in a race that the Tribune calls a "GOP target."</p> <p><em>Travis County Commissioners Court </em></p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">Three of the five seats that make up the Travis County Commissioners Court are up this November.</p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">Democrat Andy Brown and Republican Michael Lovins will compete for the position of county judge in a special election after Sarah Eckhardt resigned less than two years into her second term to run for state senator. Both candidates were selected by their respective political parties <a href="https://austonia.com/travis-county-judge-2020-election" target="_self"><u>rather than local voters</u></a>. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">The county judge serves as chief executive of the county and oversees the Commissioners Court. The office functions similarly to that of a city's mayor. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">Precinct 1 Commissioner Jeffrey Travillion, a Democrat, will run against Republican candidate Solomon Arcoven. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">Precinct 3 Commissioner Gerald Daugherty, the sole Republican on the court, is not running for reelection. Democrat Ann Howard will face off against Republican Becky Bray for his seat. </p> <p><em>Austin City Council </em></p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">Half of City Council's 10 seats are up for election this November. Twenty candidates have thrown their hats in the ring. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">Council seats are nonpartisan, although all current members are affiliated with the Democratic party. You can find out which district you live in <a href="https://www.austintexas.gov/GIS/CouncilDistrictMap/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><u>here</u></a>. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">District 2 Council Member Delia Garza will vacate her seat to serve as Travis County attorney. Four candidates—David Chincanchan, Vanessa Fuentes, Casey Ramos and Alex Strenger—are running to replace her. You can read more about them <a href="https://austonia.com/austin-city-council-seats-up-for-election/district-2" target="_self"><u>here</u></a>. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">District 4 Council Member Greg Casar faces two competitors, Louis C. Herrin III and Ramesses II Setepenre. You can read more about the candidates <a href="https://austonia.com/austin-city-council-seats-up-for-election/district-4" target="_self"><u>here</u></a>. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">District 6 Council Member Jimmy Flannigan is running for reelection against Deedra Harrison, Mackenzie Kelly and Dr. Jennifer Musthaler. You can read more about them <a href="https://austonia.com/austin-city-council-seats-up-for-election/district-6" target="_self"><u>here</u></a>. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">District 7 Council Member Leslie Pool faces one opponent, Morgan Witt. You can read more about the race <a href="https://austonia.com/austin-city-council-seats-up-for-election/district-7" target="_self"><u>here</u></a>. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">The most crowded race is in District 10, where incumbent Alison Alter faces six other candidates: Ben Easton, Belinda Greene, Pooja Sethi, Robert Thomas, Noel Tristan and Jennifer Virden. You can read more about the field <a href="https://austonia.com/austin-city-council-seats-up-for-election/district-10" target="_self"><u>here</u></a>. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">Elected members will be tasked with rewriting the city's <a href="https://austonia.com/austin-land-use-code-rewrite" target="_self"><u>land use code</u></a>, considering <a href="https://austonia.com/austin-unanimously-passes-4-1b-budget-that-includes-5-percent-cut-to-police-budget-with-promises-for-more-reports" target="_self"><u>further cuts to the Austin Police Department's budge</u></a>t and, if voters approve Proposition A, implementing <a href="https://austonia.com/project-connect-austin" target="_self"><u>the $7.1 billion Project Connect transit plan</u></a>. </p> <p><em>Propositions </em></p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">There are two local mobility propositions on the November ballot. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">Proposition A gives voters the chance to approve a permanent 8.75-cent increase to the city's property tax rate to pay for and maintain Project Connect, a proposed $7.1 billion, 15-year overhaul of Austin's transit system. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">Proposition B allows voters to opt into a $460 million active mobility bond, with funding going toward sidewalks, urban trails, bikeways and Vision Zero, a campaign to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries.</p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">You can read more about these propositions—including their ballot language, who supports and opposes the measures and the tax impact—<a href="https://austonia.com/austin-propositions" target="_self"><u>here</u></a>.</p>
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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the United States, many esteemed local businesses have been forced to shut their doors permanently. Austin is no exception, and over the last six months, some of the city's most beloved local establishments have had to say goodbye. This non-comprehensive list includes some of Austin's most iconic businesses that have closed for good due to COVID-19. May they live in the hearts and minds of Austinites forever.
Iconic Austin businesses that have closed due to COVID-19:
Austin Java (three out of four locations)<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0MzQ0MS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NjA4ODg0M30.ODINaGiHnfT_NH5FeQg_1gC9aPyk6R2VzsNtygZ1qkk/img.png?width=980" id="715fe" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="26efbbc274d52d5fe0f057c02f259d18" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Popular local coffee chain Austin Java announced in August that it was permanently closing three of its flour locations: in Austin City Hall, Dripping Springs and the Met Center. The cafe opened its inaugural location in 1995 on Parkway Street off North Lamar, which closed in 2017 to make way for the four new spots. Austin Java devotees can still get their caffeine fix at the chain's last remaining location on Menchaca Road in the Westgate neighborhood.<br></p>
Buffalo Billiards<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0MzQ0OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0Mjc1MzI1MX0.uTdNTAratMKRmWbpaq-DYy38CJPx9KyZVtMd6ehdbJk/img.jpg?width=980" id="421b3" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ab19939bb57990f5a5049884f4a1fda0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>The Wild West-themed watering hole and pool hall <a href="https://www.facebook.com/buffalobilliardsaustin/posts/4568248103215552" target="_blank">announced</a> <a href="https://austonia.com/buffalo-billiards-closes?share_id=5804221" target="_blank">last week</a> that it was permanently closing its doors after 21 years on 6th Street. Long before it became Buffalo Billiards, the historic space was known as the Missouri House, built by the Ziller Family in 1861 and reputed to be Austin's first boarding house (and rumored brothel). Home to many a drunken cowboy brawl in its past life, Buffalo Billiards served as the perfect destination for a revelrous night on the town.<br></p>
Capitol City Comedy Club<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzgzNjY2OC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MzA0MzM4M30.OLvTSydqLncPOm2svJsft755prbXG05o4i0PYmTqBdU/img.png?width=980" id="a888a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="243c9fecf407df4c6d237c4f84828852" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Austin's Cap City Comedy closes its doors for good in the wake of the pandemic earlier this month.<p>The longstanding laugh factory situated on Research Boulevard took its final bow <a href="https://austonia.com/cap-city-comedy-closes" target="_blank">earlier this month</a> after nearly 35 years in business. Houstonians Howard and Sandy Marcus opened the venue, originally called the Laff Stop, in March of 1986; it was rebranded to Capitol City Comedy Club in 1996. "Laughing will always be the key to moving forward," co-owner Margie Coyle said in a <a href="https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/cap-city-comedy-club-shutting-down/#:~:text=AUSTIN%20(KXAN)%20%E2%80%94%20The%20COVID,month%20with%20plans%20to%20reopen." target="_blank">statement to KXAN</a>. "I love Cap City, but if you see the light, get off the stage!"<br></p>
Dart Bowl<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ1ODUxNS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNzUyNDgzNX0.TFT_Wa9goeNLZnLtx9wDnOLkjHwdOcmwgV3wzz93Bps/img.jpg?width=980" id="76486" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1ce4eaf0f07ea7305291f897dcc16f33" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Austin's iconic Dart Bowl to close Friday after COVID slowdown hurts business<p>In July, Dart Bowl co-owner John Donovan <a href="https://austonia.com/business/dart-bowl" target="_blank">announced</a> that the adored bowling alley was permanently closing after 62 years of family-friendly fun. Donovan's grandfather, Harry Peterson, and local businessman Justin Dart co-opened the original Burnet Road location—then outside city limits—in 1958 and operated there for nearly four decades before relocating to Brentwood in 1997. Peterson also partnered with Jerry and Betty Ray to open Highland Lanes and Westgate Lanes, which thankfully remain open.<br></p>
Easy Tiger<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0MzQ1MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MTYwODk1MX0.ti6Ybb6b2uJhL6CvbgMDhzLBDUTU6Vn2bWYPXFnPN5k/img.jpg?width=980" id="5d2fa" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="33b40031a6eb06966c6b582d6fd268e5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>If you haven't washed Easy Tiger's fresh-baked bread or pastries down with a cappuccino or craft beer, you haven't really lived. Unfortunately, Austinites can no longer indulge in that pleasure at the bakery's downtown location, which boasted a gorgeous beer garden overlooking Waller Creek and offered a reprieve from heavy 6th Street foot traffic. The flagship Easy Tiger announced its permanent closure last week, ending an eight-year run downtown. Thankfully, its North Austin location at the Linc is still open for drive-thru, delivery, curbside and patio dining, and its <a href="https://www.easytigerusa.com/pages/pop-up" target="_blank">pop-up truck</a> could be bringing delectable fresh bread to your neighborhood soon.<br></p>
Fricano's Deli<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0MzQ1Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwOTY4NjU1MX0.6FzmirUmaf4nBiM9U0r4HFjT9gex5tzXMI5AZTqgxNo/img.jpg?width=980" id="ae482" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7ae4898dbeca1e41b7067c60459b81ec" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
(Facebook)<p>The beloved West Campus deli closed its doors for good in April after serving mile-high sandwiches to hungry college students for 14 years. Fricano's first opened in 2006 on East 31st Street, later expanding to Nueces Street in 2011 and closing its original location a year later. Perhaps no testament to Fricano's quality speaks louder than its famous Ainsworth, a constantly-changing variety sandwich that employees assembled from the best ingredients of the day. No matter what each day's Ainsworth yielded, you'd be hard-pressed to find an unhappy customer.<br><strong></strong></p>
I Luv Video<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0MzQ1My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1OTYzODYzMn0.zjfeJruG8T8FLQY5n-uU9tlhbx5cX2N6QpMDnkMuXcA/img.jpg?width=980" id="7387b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0a3e84eb7d3aec7472df26daa58c00e1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
(Facebook)<p>I Luv Video, located on Airport Boulevard, serviced film enthusiasts in Austin for 35 years before owner Conrad Bejarano announced that the self-proclaimed "oldest and largest video store in the world" was closing for good on Sept. 1. But rather than sell his inventory and cut his losses, Bejarano is looking for a potential new owner to faithfully steward his collection of roughly 120,000 films. "It would bring me the utmost joy to pass the torch to a group or individual that has the financial capacity to preserve our immense catalog of films," Bejarano <a href="https://iluvvideos.com/" target="_blank">wrote</a> in his closure announcement. "My only stipulation is that whomever does so gives the community access to our vast film library."<br></p>
Magnolia Cafe West (Lake Austin)<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzEzNTM5Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMjE3NDY3NX0.kjDOXfw0Yfm3vqlgrdpZPpOwvQuXvypJFOy3DbgKBhI/img.jpg?width=980" id="4fa96" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0830bc5399b15974fee5a7e5d4068018" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
(Austonia)<p>For more than 40 years, Magnolia Cafe welcomed weary students and wired festival-goers, serving up dinner plate-sized pancakes and bottomless coffee 24 hours a day. The omelettry owner Kenny Carpenter originally opened the Lake Austin space in 1979 as an auxiliary location called Omelettry West; he later sold it to partner Kent Cole, who rechristened it to Magnolia Cafe in 1986. The restaurant announced in April that it was closing for good, but mourners can still get their fix at the South Congress location, which opened in 1988.<br><strong></strong></p>
Mugshots<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDIzMDM0NC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjIxMTE2N30.IFcnMI6dRYF0K49fkxBfLSJro7Uk_iDMoqHPzy9gg3g/img.png?width=980" id="f986d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="79aec2741acc688b9010d141ff8ba52d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Iconic MugShots Bar closes after 18 years
(Facebook)<p>Since 2002, 7th Street dive bar Mugshots offered a respite from the Dirty Sixth mayhem while still giving patrons plenty of opportunities for debauchery. True to its name, the downtown haunt plastered its walls with photos of customers that were taken in the property's photo booth. In a Sept. 13 <a href="https://www.facebook.com/111679072204301/photos/a.340023902703149/3427236430648532/?type=3&theater" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Facebook post</a>, owners Marcos Canchola Brian Hyde announced that Mugshots permanently closed its doors on Aug. 31. The watering hole is survived by a handful of other Canchola-and Hyde-owned properties around Austin, including Barfly's, the Hideout Pub, Bender Bar & Grill, Violet Crown Social Club, the Pour House Pub, and Pourhouse Pints & Pies.</p>
Shady Grove<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0NTk3MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNjU5Njg4NX0.YXxIAuUraCzt594BBSImzAHH7oTKC7asCO8RAYfSBeE/img.jpg?width=980" id="09659" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9fb3ba0a1b37623aa3af09ee10398c08" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
(Facebook)<p>After fielding Zilker Park foot traffic for 28 years, Shady Grove slung its last green chili cheeseburger in May. Opened in 1992 by Chuy's co-owners Mike Young and John Zapp, the Barton Springs Road eatery became an Austin staple with its iconic lasso signage, Southwestern cuisine and live music Thursdays during the summer. The one-two punch of skyrocketing rent and COVID-19 closures likely forced Shady Grove to shutter, but patrons can still get their Tex-Mex fill at the walking-distance Barton Springs Chuy's.</p>
Threadgill's<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0MzQ3Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNTg0ODc4MH0.bJmfhFf8XJsQUSVgx-13noyB9R0I4mD_O1v1a4Tw-5k/img.jpg?width=980" id="2b710" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9f2e605e8c7f46762c002fc9086da803" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
(Facebook)<p>Threadgill's owner Eddie Wilson announced in April that he was selling the restaurant, beer joint and music venue, closing the curtain on one of Austin's most iconic businesses. Bootlegger and country music enthusiast Kenneth Threadgill secured the first beer license in Travis County and opened the converted Gulf filling station on North Lamar—then outside Austin city limits—in 1933, as soon as Prohibition was repealed. Wednesday night singing sessions attracted droves of hippies, beatniks and folkies in the '60s, including burgeoning blues-rock howler and University of Texas undergrad Janis Joplin. Wilson—who also co-founded the hallowed Armadillo World Headquarters music venue in 1973—bought and renovated the property in 1981. For nearly four more decades, it drew locals and tourists alike with its electrifying performers and mouth-watering chicken-fried steak. (A second location, Threadgill's World Headquarters, operated on Riverside from 1996 to 2018.)<br><strong></strong></p>
Vulcan Video<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0MzQ3NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNjYxMTY1MX0.3aC_cNahKEJXeMWMHk38jc6K6t1180tGCebJ3iUwjGM/img.jpg?width=980" id="92c41" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d6cd64cc10aba9dbde75bc3b1c98d423" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
(Facebook)<p>After servicing movie buffs for 35 years, Vulcan Video announced in April that it was cutting to black and permanently shutting its doors on Russell Drive. The beloved independent movie shop opened in 1985 amid the VHS rental boom and weathered several seismic industry shifts over the decades, including the rise (and fall) of mega-chains like Blockbuster and the dominance of streaming services. Vulcan Video's inventory comprised renowned classics, underground gems and rare imports, weaving a rich tapestry of movie history and giving fellow cinephiles a place to hang out and talk shop.<br><strong></strong></p>
Iconic Austin businesses that are still open<p>Thankfully, some iconic Austin businesses have weathered the pandemic by experimenting with new business models, implementing new safety regulations or receiving much-needed relief funds. Here are a few of them:</p>
El Patio<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0MzUyNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMjU1Njc1OH0.5Bd6uhY0ZInTihHnkci0RX-QFH7cw2GtTXOOwUx8tlQ/img.jpg?width=980" id="477db" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e4869b1530681c080529146e5ded6348" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
(Facebook)<p>Tex-Mex trailblazer Paul Joseph began working at the Schoonerville restaurant in the early 1950s, and in 1954, he bought the building and transformed it into El Patio. The Guadalupe Street mainstay was one of the first Tex-Mex restaurants to grace Austin, and customers can still enjoy savory enchiladas, crispy tortilla chips and frosty margaritas there today. The dining room is currently open for business, and patrons must wear a mask upon entering and being seated.<br><strong></strong></p>
Fonda San Miguel<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0MzUyOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMDM5MjkwNH0.UjPQa00jlRd13W3RMp60m0Eho7NBsRet8eHr89OdQVs/img.jpg?width=980" id="3c19f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6677c474b6a78d22d5229dcd2b2f78c9" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
(Facebook)<p>Modeled after a colonial-era hacienda, Fonda San Miguel has remained one of Austin's most venerated and visibly striking Mexican restaurants since opening in 1975. Customers can marvel at the exotic plants and breathtaking artwork as they enjoy interior Mexican cuisine from Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz and Yucatan. Fonda San Miguel reopened in June, encouraging reservations and requiring customers and servers to wear masks.<br><strong></strong></p>
Sam's Bar-B-Que<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0MzUzMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNzAyNDMwN30.aexJZIwfbDR56cJDquwxX8OujXIwU7NcETVYx_0khx0/img.jpg?width=980" id="b218d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8c51812084bc4a81d7f4751c6bd6d093" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Top Notch Hamburgers<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0MzUzMS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMjExNDc4MH0._r4mIH4A8P0T2sZrutGceC0G2PyHib3LlrKpEqomcUk/img.jpg?width=980" id="4e001" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d382eaa6ff7f6562081cc299422861c0" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
(Facebook)<p>This Burnet Road institution has been serving charcoal-grilled burgers and fried chicken via carhop since 1971, and it was immortalized in Richard Linklater's 1993 coming-of-age stoner comedy <em>Dazed and Confused. </em>Top Notch and Galaxy Cafe co-owner Kelly Chappell received a PPP loan in April, and Top Notch is currently open for pickup orders placed in-person, over the phone or online.<br></p>
Quality Seafood Market<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ0MzUzNC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MzY3NzM4OH0.B3E8ObbhQbadee91vvmUwsUZjR-yqxc_cTpDI9xFemc/img.jpg?width=980" id="335c5" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bca67dc7ad396658b127955bc57847dd" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
(Facebook)<p>Quality Seafood Market opened in 1938 as a humble stall in Starr's Fruit and Vegetable Market on Congress Avenue and has since evolved into one of the city's best-known seafood markets and restaurants. Now situated on Burnet Road, the market is open Monday through Saturday, and its food truck is open Thursday through Saturday afternoons. Curbside dinners for two are also available with a 24 hour notice.<br></p>
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