AUSTIN (KXAN) — Owners of The Omelettry say they’ve been priced out of their longtime neighborhood.
“I love this building. It’s been home,” said Jesse Carpenter, one of the co-owners of the Omelettry. “My parents had me in a playpen back there in the office.”
His dad opened the Central Austin restaurant before he was born. But soon, the popular spot will be history.
The Omelettry has been sitting on the same corner on Burnet and 49th Streets since 1978. But now, after many attempts of trying to renegotiate the lease and even trying to buy the property, the restaurant is going to have to move. Carpenter says he couldn’t reach a deal with the landlord. Rising property taxes drove the monthly rent out of reach. Now, he and 20 employees will be moving to a new spot in three months.
“I went through the anger, depression, sadness,” Carpenter said, “now, I finally reached the excited stage.”
Longtime customers say they’ll miss their little diner.
“I’m kinda sad,” Patricia McKean said. “Because I love this restaurant ’cause its very Austiny, this is why we come here.”
Others say it’s a sign the city is losing its character.
“I know we can’t save everything,” said Jay Hamm. “But I wish we would save the antiques, the culture of the town.”
Carpenter says he had no choice but to move. They will be relocating to Airport Boulevard in the fall.
“Some customers are already talking about the last day– having a wake for the building,” he explained.
Carpenter says he will be moving all of the restaurant furniture and decor into the new space to try recreate the original atmosphere as much as possible.