It's no secret that COVID-19 has put businesses' longevity to the test this year, sending bars, restaurants and local businesses like Buffalo Billiards, Threadgill's, The Bazaar and Capitol City Comedy packing. With no end in sight, these businesses have either announced their closure or are asking for help.
Baretto, a wine bar located on 10710 Research Blvd, will also close its doors due to an H-E-B expansion causing the bar to lose its lease. With short notice and nowhere else to go, Baretto said on Facebook that it was being "forced out" of its home shopping center and that it is "not a casualty of the shutdown." Baretto said they are looking to relocate but until then, the bar will close its doors on Nov. 30.
Brick Oven Austin
After 38 years of business, pizza restaurant Brick Oven Austin, located on 10710 Research Blvd. in the same center as Baretto, announced in a blog titled "2020 is the worst," it would close its doors permanently, citing the same H-E-B expansion as Baretto that would cause the business to lose it's lease. The restaurant has had a rough year; Brick Oven Austin also closed its downtown location in March due to nearby businesses expanding, making it infeasible for the chain to stay. The Arboretum location will remain open until Nov. 30 for dine-in and takeout, noting also to stay on the lookout for discounts and that it is on the "hunt for viable alternatives."
Three years after its opening, punk rock-inspired brunch restaurant and cocktail bar Holy Roller, located on 509 Rio Grande St., will bid Austin farewell this weekend. The restaurant was famous for its creative cocktails and biscuits, serving up comfort food in a charming atmosphere. Holy Roller will host a final brunch this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Austin's longest-standing vegetarian restaurant, Mother's Cafe, located on 4215 Duval St. and E. 43rd St., announced it would join the ranks of many other restaurants this year, closing its doors after 40 years with a final service this Saturday. After the onset of COVID-19, Mother's Cafe was forced to continue operations on just takeout orders and watch sales drop about 75%, according to Austin 360. It isn't all bad news—Mother's Cafe plans to sell some of its more popular items, like the cashew-tamari salad dressing, in stores. The restaurant's owners said they have not yet ruled out the possibility of moving locations or even selling the restaurant.
Valhalla Esports Lounge
Valhalla Esports Lounge, located on 710 B W 6th St., announced Aug. 8 it wasn't sure it could make it through COVID-19. The Austin Business Journal reported Oct. 16 that the bar would file Chapter 11 bankruptcy in hopes of being able to restructure its business model and hopefully reopen. The bar, which opened just over a year ago, started a WeFunder campaign to raise money to survive the pandemic but did not meet its goal and returned the money it had raised.
While Wheatsville Co-op, located on 3101 Guadalupe St. and 4001 S. Lamar Blvd., doesn't have plans to shut down anytime soon, the grocery store mentioned in a letter for help that since COVID-19 started, sales had dropped about 15% despite many larger grocery stores seeing a surge in profit. Among others, Wheatsville cited one-stop shop grocery stores being popular during this time; people avoiding city centers—where both of its locations are; and UT's low in-person rate as reasons why the business is struggling.
- Austin black-owned restaurants see support after protests - austonia ›
- Restaurant capacity expands to 75% in Austin - austonia ›
- Austin restaurants are waiting for federal relief. Will it come in time ... ›
- Many Austin restaurants can't afford reduced capacity - austonia ›
- Here is where you can order your Thanksgiving meal package - austonia ›
- Austin restaurants worry about new capacity recommendations - austonia ›
- shop local this Black Friday in Austin - austonia ›
- This week in Austin food and drink news, Dec. 4 edition - austonia ›
- New mid-pandemic restaurant openings in Austin - austonia ›
- New mid-pandemic restaurant openings in Austin - austonia ›
- Restaurants closing dining rooms to flatten covid curve - austonia ›
- Austin restaurants and bars were left with a decision: risk a citation on New Year's Eve, or close their doors before the countdown - austonia ›
- Concert, festival providers cater to COVID needs to stay alive - austonia ›
- Romeo's and Juliet: an Austin restaurant love story - austonia ›
- How to keep on supporting Austin's Black-owned restaurants - austonia ›
- Restaurant, bar workers to rally for essential status, masks - austonia ›
- Austin Public Library will reopen 12 branches on May 10 - austonia ›
- Austin restaurants struggle to hire workers after pandemic year - austonia ›
- Most patients hospitalized for COVID-19 are unvaccinated - austonia ›
- At least 107 Afghan refugees coming to Austin, more in Texas - austonia ›
- Franklins Barbecue reopening dining room on Nov. 23 - austonia ›
- Franklin Barbecue reopening dining room on Nov. 23 - austonia ›
- Austin increased new business applications during COVID-19 - austonia ›
So you want to buy a house?
To anyone trying to get on the "housing ladder," it's been a discouraging couple of years as prices skyrocketed in a market crowded with buyers bidding against each other for just about any available home.
Things may be calming down, with the Austin Board of REALTORS reporting fewer sales and more available homes this summer.
Mortgage rates have more than doubled in the last year, from around 3% to well over 6% on a 30-year fixed rate loan, getting even more of a bump this week after the Federal Reserve raised bank rates on Wednesday.
So how affordable are homes right now? That, of course, depends on what you want and how much you're able or willing to pay, but here are some rough estimates of what a typical buyer would pay to buy a $650,000 home, which would be considered "mid-price" in today's market.
Mortgage banker Chris Holland (NMLS 211033) of Austin's Sente Mortgage ran some numbers for Austonia to illustrate a typical purchase.
Holland says that while the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is often mentioned in the media, the most popular loan that he's seeing now is a 7/1 adjustable rate mortgage, which has a fixed rate for 7 years and then adjusts every year based on market rates, with a limit on how much it can increase each year. The interest is amortized over a 30-year period. Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) offer lower rates than fixed rate loans.
Here are the numbers, which are examples. In practice, exact numbers vary with a buyer's credit rating and overall financial situation, and with the rate, which can move up or down at any time.
- $650,000 home purchase price
- 7/1 ARM at 5.875%
- 5% down payment, equals $32,500
- 95% financed, equals $617,500
- $4,990 payment, including principle and interest (P&I), insurance, and property tax
- Typically, a borrower's debt to income ratio needs to be at or below 45%. So for this mortgage, a borrower, or borrowers, would need income of roughly $11,100/month, or $133,200/year. That number could be higher, depending on the buyer's outstanding credit balances on things like credit cards and car loans.
Holland says he's had a lot of clients approved for loans who were house hunting but have put that on hold, hoping prices come down.
Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
Fall promises to be a one-of-a-kind camping experience. From Sept. 16 to Nov. 24, weekends will be packed with fall-themed activities, including special Halloween weekends in October. Campers can enjoy activities like fall crafts, campground trick-or-treating, costume contests, site decorating, outdoor movie nights, and more!
Packages and Ways to Stay
Camp Fimfo Waco
Located just 5 miles from McLane Stadium, Camp Fimfo Waco is the perfect place to stay during home game weekends. Skip the stuffy hotel room and embrace the great outdoors before cheering on the Baylor Bears! Campers can purchase a Baylor Tailgating Package that includes a pre-game meal from Executive Chef Sean Kelley and transportation to and from the game! Chef Kelley will also be cooking up delicious, elevated tailgating meals near the stadium so make sure to check out The Plaid Plate food truck before the game.
Stay in style and comfort, no matter your camping preference! At Camp Fimfo Waco, there are multiple ways to stay. Red Carpet RV sites come with a concrete pad and patio, full hook-ups, cable hook-up, a charcoal grill, fire ring and fire pit. Back-in or pull-thru options are available, as well as coveted spots tucked along the Bosque River!
Don’t have an RV? Not a problem, Camp Fimfo Waco has cabins too! Book a Riverview Firewheel Cabin if you’re looking for an air-conditioned oasis for the whole family. Complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, this cabin can fit up to 10 people. Elevate your stay by adding on a golf cart or snag a private cabana by the pool for guaranteed shade. With wifi available throughout the park, you can stay connected during your stay!
Amenities and Activities
Camp Fimfo Waco
Camp Fimfo Waco features lots of amenities to fill your days with fun, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. After challenging your friends to a game of pickleball, basketball, or mini golf, go for a dip in the resort-style, heated pool - open daily through October! Stay on the weekends through October to enjoy the interactive splash playground. With plenty of ways to burn off energy, like the jumping pillow or playground, you can be sure to end the day with a peaceful night around the campfire!
Right now, you can get the fourth night FREE when you book three nights with the promo code BONUS! Check out the Offers page for full details and more promo codes!