After nearly two months of waiting and wondering by the Fonda San Miguel staff and customers, their beloved bronze fountain was finally returned by an anonymous source this past weekend.
Tom Gilliland, owner and founder of Fonda San Miguel, thought fondly of this fountain and he, along with the restaurant's employees and visitors, was extremely concerned about its whereabouts.
"It felt like having a dear friend return safely from an unexpected trip without knowing when or if they would ever return."
The fountain, which featured an elongated face and was entitled "Rostro Rectangular, Ojos Cerrados" (eyes closed), was stolen the morning of July 6 and was immediately reported to the Austin Police Department. The restaurant offered a $500 reward for anyone who could help locate their dearest fountain piece.
The piece was created by Mexican artist Sergio Bustamante and weighs over 60 pounds. The heist was not one for beginners.
The fountain was stolen off this wall in July. (Fonda San Miguel)
"(The fountain) is massive and would have required at least two strong individuals and a truck to pull this off," Gilliland said. "My guess is the thieves knew exactly what they were stealing."
It sat tucked away behind a wooden screen and stone wall, making it not easily visible by any passersby. However, many customers adored the iconic fountain and viewed it through the window in the main dining room.
Gilliland first bought the fountain in 2019 while visiting Bustamante's gallery in Mexico. Other pieces by the renowned artist can be seen on display within the restaurant.
Art pieces from the same artist line the restaurant. (Fonda San Miguel)
After the fountain was stolen, Bustamante crafted a new fountain, which was slightly darker than the original. They implemented additional security measures with this installment.
When the fountain was returned, they also increased security measures in hopes of preventing a situation like this from happening again. Though it luckily only endured minimal damage while it was gone, the original fountain will return to its display spot soon, the owners say.
Gilliland encourages those who want to see the fountain back in its rightful place to visit their restaurant located on West North Loop. Fonda San Miguel is open every day starting at 5 p.m. and is closed on Sundays.
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Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.
There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.
All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.
🗓 All weekend
Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities
All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park
This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.
6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.
10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park
Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.
Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.
11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway