Just when I thought I was going on vacation…
I just got sent a story from Austin that the Texan capital’s venerable Jewish deli, Katz’s, is closing down. Says the city’s American-Statesman newspaper:
Marc Katz’s delicatessen, a West Sixth Street institution, is closing, after 31 years in business and two bankruptcies.
Katz, whose company, M&M Katz Inc., has been mired in U.S. Bankruptcy Court since July, said the deli will shut down Jan. 2.
“I have to go,” Katz said. “It has been 31 years. I want to leave while I am happy and suppliers and employees are taken care of. I just think it is time.”
Katz informed workers at the restaurant a few weeks ago that it would soon shut down.
“We rode so high for so many years. I just don’t want to do it anymore,” he said.
That gives the restaurant one more Christmas Day in operation. For many years of its operation, Katz’s was known for being one of the few prominent restaurants in Austin that was open on Christmas Day. The all-night deli’s well-known slogan was “Katz’s Never Kloses.”
The parent company to the deli first filed for bankruptcy in 2004, citing heavy debt payments to lender Amresco Commercial Finance and Katz’s son, Barry, who runs a separate restaurant in Houston. That case was closed in 2006, after Katz sold three properties to raise cash.
The second bankruptcy case was filed in July, listing debts including $161,637 to the Internal Revenue Service and $52,635 to the Texas comptroller’s office for unpaid state sales taxes.
According to court records, Katz’s revenue was $582,548.44 from July 21 through Oct. 31, but it had a cumulative loss during that period of $60,030.
This is really too bad. Marc Katz helped establish downtown Austin’s late night scene, and though he was a brash and often controversial character, he was part of Austin’s Keep it Weird soul. Katz’s boasted that it never closed. I guess it will forever. Katz’s…you’ll be missed.