Blackbird & Henry, the Texas bistro with a British accent, appears to have closed after about 20 months in business. The restaurant owned and operated by longtime Texas chef Mark Schmidt has been dark for a few weeks and the voicemail at the restaurant refers to a one-night closure dating back to November 7.
Blackbird & Henry was one of the city’s good restaurants that always deserved more business than it received. I would call it “underrated,” but I rated it an 8.5 when I reviewed it last year, so I would say it was well-rated, at least by me. Unfortunately, it seems the excellent salmon salad, juicy cheeseburger, prawn Kedgeree and Eaton Mess were not big enough draws for the campus-area crowd and neighbors. I am also skeptical of restaurants in mixed-use developments with so few residents. Until the city becomes more walkable and the buildings atop these restaurants extended a little higher, I wonder if restaurants like Blackbird & Henry will work in Austin. That area is also a bit problematic for any restaurant that extends beyond regular casual fare. Hopfields works, but can rely on the strength of its beer list, and Texas French Bread has a morning bakery, afternoon deli and 30 years of history to support it. Stay tuned to this space for news on a possible new tenant at 3016 Guadalupe St.