Just days before the World Cup draws soccer fans to sports bars all over Austin, a key campus-area hangout closed: Tap 24’s last day of service was Monday.
The sports bar owned by Cuatro Kowalski — who also owns the adjacent barbecue restaurant Freedmen’s — shuttered when he decided not to renew Tap 24’s liquor license, which was set to expire soon, according to CultureMap Austin.
Kowalski confirmed the shutter to Austin360 and said that it’s otherwise business as usual for his other projects, which include Freedmen’s and the new Texas 46 BBQ in the Hill Country near Canyon Lake.
“It was a great run,” he said. “I hate to see it close, but it was time.”
A popular gathering spot for soccer fans, Tap 24 debuted just in time for the 2014 World Cup four years ago. It had previously been the bar Cuatro’s, which Kowalski had opened in 2008 and then temporarily closed a few years later, in late 2013, to give it a bit of a redesign, with pool tables, arcade games, a revamped food menu and 24 draft beers.
In a 2014 Austin360 article, Kowalski noted that though the newly open Tap 24 aimed to show all sports on its TVs, soccer was the main focus.
The World Cup returns to the world’s screens starting tomorrow through July 15, and a variety of Austin bars and restaurants have expanded their hours to accommodate the schedule of soccer matches, as well as have plans to offer fun food and drink specials throughout the month-long competition.
This time around, the West Campus sports bar at 1004 W. 24th St. won’t be part of the action. And it won’t be revamped into a new concept from the Austin restaurateur, either: Kowalski said he plans to sell Tap 24.