After last week's surprise closure of all Foxtrot and Dom’s Kitchen & Market locations, Austin is left to find a new tenant for its corner retail suite at City Hall downtown and attempt to recover remaining rent it's owed by Foxtrot.

In a nutshell

The city chose Chicago-based Foxtrot in 2022 to bring an "upscale convenience market" to City Hall. Local coffeehouse Austin Java previously operated in that space before exiting due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

As Foxtrot was moving to expand its operations in the city, Austin expected the cafe and grocery store to be a long-term fixture at City Hall. City staff arranged a 10-year lease with the retailer, with the option for two more five-year extensions. However, the store shuttered after less than a year in operation, and Austin will soon be searching for a replacement.

"[Financial Services Department] staff have reached out to Foxtrot to coordinate next steps to surrender the space, address any outstanding payments to the city and arrange for the removal of personal property. Once we receive a response from Foxtrot, we will begin preparations to market the space for a new tenant," department spokesperson Kimberly Moore said in an email.

Zooming in

In March 2022, City Council approved a 10-year, nearly $943,000 lease structure with Foxtrot for the city's 2,658-square-foot retail space at at 301 W. Second St., Ste. 100.

Under that framework, Foxtrot didn't pay rent for its first six months in business, which ended up being July through December 2023. Instead, the retailer was on the hook for operating expenses estimated around $12,000 during that time. Monthly rent payments of $7,752.50 only began this January.

Foxtrot paid for three full months of rent for January through March, totaling more than $23,200, before the brand announced its nationwide closures across the Austin, Chicago, Dallas and Washington, D.C., markets April 23. Moore said the city is still waiting to hear back about the store's April rent and when Foxtrot plans to move out of City Hall.

"At this time, we have not received response from Foxtrot in order to provide any additional information on next steps," she said.

Foxtrot and Dom's representatives didn't return requests for comment before press time.