The current pandemic has claimed another legendary Austin restaurant. A staple of Barton Springs Road for nearly 30 years, Shady Grove was permanently closed on May 11, citing the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 economic crisis.
“It’s heartbreaking,” said Marsha Milam, who was responsible for music programming and PR for the restaurant.
Shady Grove – celebrated for its Southwestern-style food, strong margaritas, cozy tree-shaded surroundings, and free outdoor concert series “Unplugged at the Grove” – opened at 1624 Barton Springs Road in 1992.
Mike Young and John Zapp, owners of Austin-based Tex-Mex chain Chuy’s, founded Shady Grove.
Shady Grove’s dining room had been closed since mid-March during the coronavirus outbreak. However, a pick-up and delivery service was still offered.
Milam says the pandemic hit the restaurant “like a million dollars”. The restaurant failed to survive, despite the fact that restaurants in Texas have limited seating.
“You can’t work with 25 percent, 50 percent or 75 percent [capacity]”Says Milam.
After the May 11 service, current co-owner Rusty Zagst posted a goodbye message on the restaurant’s website thanking customers for three decades of loyalty.
“Although my heart is heavy, it is full of gratitude and pride for a truly magical 28-year journey,” he wrote. “It has been a privilege to serve this city that we love so much. I am grateful to all of our wonderful customers for sharing their lives and experiences as we watched our city grow into a big city together . “
Shady Grove is just the newest restaurant to close due to the coronavirus-induced economic standstill. Threadgill’s, Enchiladas y Mas, and the Taroliatown location of the Magnolia Cafe have also closed in recent weeks.