Well here’s a Monday bummer — the Penn Field Opal Divine’s is closing its doors as of December 31, 2016. And it’s all because Austin doesn’t seem to want to keep it weird anymore… Or at least that’s what Opal’s said in a release to media and long time customers Monday morning.
As more and more TV shows come to film episodes in our town and more national print and online publications write about how great and weird we are, that catch phrase that everyone just loves to spew for views and clicks becomes less and less accurate. As the Opal’s folks said in a press release, “The restaurant/bar dynamic in South Austin has changed in the eleven plus years that this location has been open. Austin’s ‘Keep Austin Weird’ fascination is fading into a search for the latest and greatest new restaurant/bar/concept and the Parkers (the owners of Opal Divine’s) feel it is time to let this location pass on.”
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The Penn Field location is Opal’s second Austin location, opened in April of 2005 — the original West Sixth street location closed in May 2013, eventually giving way to the not-at-all weird Steampunk Saloon. The Penn Field closure just leaves the Marina location for Austinites to grab an Urban Bubba burger with a side of those magical cracked pepper fries.
Other local “weird” favorites with a nice, backyard burger joint-type vibe include Freddie’s Place and soon-to-close Doc’s Backyard.
Rent and overhead for such a large building in a popular South Austin development which Opal’s originally anchored were just too much for the restaurant to keep up with. We are super sad to see it go, and will be drowning our sorrows over one of their Pinky Friedman cocktails before that closing date.
The Opal’s family bids South Austin adieu with “Many thanks to our great customers and staff who have passed through our doors over the years.”
Featured photo courtesy Opal Divine’s