Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report
The bright lights will soon go out on a favorite Southtown eatery.
Feast owners Stefan Bowers and Andrew Goodman announced Thursday on Facebook that the contemporary restaurant with boldly lit signage, a contemporary vibe, and innovative dishes will close at the end of the year.
“We opened Feast in 2011 with a single goal in mind – as a place for everyone to have a good time,” stated the post. “Ear-splitting noise, 3oz pours, aggressive flavors, solid value and an unapologetic design forced you to either love or hate us. Eight years later we can rest assured that love won out … Yet the time has come to say goodbye.”
Bowers told the Rivard Report there’s no single reason he is closing the restaurant.
“It’s about a good exit strategy,” he said. “There’s definitely something in the air with restaurants closing that are independent. So rather than just let it just disintegrate into nothing, it’s a good time. We’re at a good place with it.”
The nine-year lease the restaurant holds on the historic building that houses it also is coming to an end next year. In 2015, a year-long legal battle with the owner, over alleged violations of a lease agreement, ended in Goodman’s favor and the lease was renewed through 2020.
Now, Bowers said, “The time has come … as opposed to just grinding to the end. We have three other operations that we need to look out for.”
Bowers and Goodman also own Rebelle in The St. Anthony hotel; Battalion, an Italian restaurant located in an old Southtown fire station, and Playland, a pizza restaurant in an East Houston Street residential tower known as the Maverick Building.
This month, they are opening a private party space called Below at Maverick, which has seating for 180 and is available for booking.
In recent weeks, two other acclaimed restaurants have closed, namely Chef Tim Rattray’s The Granary, located at the Pearl, and his newest venture, Fontaine’s Southern Diner and Bar, which opened and closed within the same year. Rattray filed for bankruptcy.
Bowers said he admires the San Antonio restaurants that are doing well, but he couldn’t say exactly why others are struggling in general. “Chefs are texting me saying … they’re nervous about the city and the direction it’s taking, but I don’t think you can really put your finger on it,” he said. “If you really want to find out, you have to ask people what they like.”
For Feast, he said, parking was hard to find at times, unlike at the Pearl, which has plentiful parking and numerous dining options.
“We still have our hands full with four things to focus on and that’s really what it boils down to for Feast,” Bowers said.
“Feast has been around for a long time. It has a lifespan, like a person, and you know Feast reminded me of just that badass grandfather that’s in a rest home that you don’t come to see very often, but when you do, you leave happy, you’re great, and you’re glad you did.
“But at the same time, it’ll still be a while before you go back.”