Magnolia Cafe closes original Lake Austin Blvd. location after more than 40 years

Magnolia Cafe will keep its original Lake Austin Boulevard location closed permanently. Owner Kent Cole opened the restaurant in 1979. (Courtesy Google Maps)
Magnolia Cafe will keep its original Lake Austin Boulevard location closed permanently. Owner Kent Cole opened the restaurant in 1979. (Courtesy Google Maps)

Magnolia Cafe will keep its original Lake Austin Boulevard location closed permanently. Owner Kent Cole opened the restaurant in 1979. (Courtesy Google Maps)

The owners of Magnolia Cafe announced via Facebook on April 16 that the west location, which opened in 1979, will not reopen. The location on South Congress Avenue, which is also closed due to stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, is set to reopen when it is safe to do so.

Owners Kent Cole and Diana Prechter wrote that business had been slowing down at the original Lake Austin Boulevard location before the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus hit.


“In the face of such a huge hit with the reality of COVID-19 and the incredible uncertainty of the future, we’ve had to confront the fact that this location will not survive,” Cole and Prechter wrote.

Magnolia Cafe opened in its original location in 1979 as Omelettry West. In 1987, Cole bought out then co-owner Ken Carpenter and renamed the spot Magnolia Cafe. Cole and Prechter expanded the business to a second location at 1920 S. Congress Ave. in 1988.

“To our neighbors and loyal customers of that location for so many years, thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” the owners wrote. “The West is where we’re from. Y’all are where we’re from.”
By Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Central Austin and Southwest Austin editions. He began his career as a sports reporter in Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in 2018. He grew up in Maine and graduated from Boston University, but prefers tacos al pastor to lobster rolls. You can get in touch at jflagler@communityimpact.com


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