We've been following this story for years (2006, later in 2006 and last year) as it's always been our one of our favorite - if not first - destinations upon arriving in Austin for SxSW.
And while for a minute it seemed as though Las Manitas would get another lease on life (no pun intended), according to Cynthia Perez (one of the owners), it officially closed it's doors forever this past Sunday, August 31st - to be replaced by a complex of three new Marriott hotels. According to the Austinist, Austin City Council initially tried to convince the Perez sisters to move a few doors down by providing financial assistance in the form of a forgivable loan to the restaurant, but public outcry caused some council members to attach strings to the loan and the owners backed away from the deal.
Apparently no permits have been filed to indicate that Las Manitas will move without the loan and Marriott developers have applied for demolition permits for the restaurant and other buildings on the block (except for the two landmark buildings on the northwest corner, which will stay in place). They expect to begin construction of the hotel complex next year.
This is a sad day indeed for everyone here at the Tripwire family, albeit, probably a sadder day for the Perez sisters and residents of the city of Austin. Here's hoping we'll have another post for you in the coming weeks to explain it's reopening.