Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oakville Grocery fails to Domain-ate Austin

So much for the utopian mixed-use ideal of living, working and playing at the Domain - at least for now.

Kate and I went out there tonight to pick up her repaired laptop from the Apple Store and noticed that Oakville Grocery has closed down. The Napa Valley, Calif.-based epicurean mart (est. 1881) lasted less than a year here.

We shared an overpriced chocolate drink at Oakville a few weeks back and I noticed the shelves looked suspiciously bare. I told Kate that didn't bode well and it turns out I was right for once.

With a giant new Whole Foods scheduled to open at the Domain next year, they never stood a chance in the long run. I hate to see a business crash and burn like that, but Oakville could've saved themselves an assload of capital by giving me 50 bucks and a bag of something sundried to tell them they were going to get hosed.

On the way back to the car, we noticed several nice wooden chairs and tables on Oakville's darkened patio. I briefly considered helping myself to some new lawn furniture as payback for the Domain's tax subsidies, but getting caught by their elite squad of rent-a-cops would've likely entailed hours of being subjected to the godawful smooth jazz they play out there.


Dan Graham said...

I live here in the Domain and was also sad to see Oakville go. I did want to comment on the 'elite' rentacop comment. A month or so ago I challenged one of them to a race. Me on foot and he on one of those segway looking gizmos -- they go MUCH faster than they look

Prentiss Riddle said...

Not a good sign for the elusive goal of a neighborhood grocery in Mueller. (Something Catellus, the Mueller developers, never seemed too keen on anyway -- last I heard they were trying to shoehorn an HEB flagship in at Berkman and 51st, in complete opposition to the stated goals of the Mueller plan.)

M1EK said...

Somebody needs to just subsidize a Fresh Plus already. This can't be that difficult. Too small/specialized is even worse than too big when it comes to a neighborhood grocer.