Rest In Peace Austin, Texas 2012

Continuing with our end-of-the year coverage, (see Some Things That Happened in Austin in 2012,) here is a long list of local things we are saying goodbye to in 2012. There were plenty of notable closings in Austin over the past 12 months, including some of our favorite bars, restaurants and music venues. This is just our small way of showing them tribute.

| Lovejoys |

Photo via Lovejoys on Facebook

The beloved Lovejoys Taproom kicked the bucket on August 5th, 2012. A true dive bar for fans of good beer and rowdy live music, Lovejoys stuck it out for 18 years in an unassuming building at 604 Neches, providing an authentic alternative to the fake IDs and themed bars of Dirty 6th.

| Momo’s |

Photo via Momo’s on Facebook

After 11 years of providing a home to some of Austin’s best folk, country and singer-songwriters, Momo’s closed on December 27, 2011 with a show featuring Suzanna Choffel. Former owner Paul Oveisi has since gone on to run a music venue in New York, bringing Austin’s laid back vibe to the Big Apple. We heard a rumor that some guy from Dallas was planning on reopening the location as a rooftop pool/bar/petting zoo.

| Trophy’s |

Photo via Trophy’s on Facebook

Trophy’s began serving up cold beer and performances from garage and rock ‘n roll bands back in the early 90s. It survived until May of 2012, when it was reported that the South Congress dive bar would close and re-open as C-Boy’s, a collaborative effort from the owner of the Continental Club and Larry McGuire. But word on the street is that the building is being condemned. Are you thinking what we’re thinking? Yep, they could just reopen Trophy’s as is. No one was that bothered by the cockroaches anyway.

| Ruta Maya |

Photo via Ruta Maya on Facebook

The Ruta Maya coffeehouse at Penn Field on South Congress closed on August 31st, 2012. The longtime importing-and-roasting facility also hosted all manner of community events and provided a venue for a wide variety of artists, from singer-songwriters to hip-hop and reggae, both local and touring. One of the many memorable nights at Ruta Maya was the Zeppelin Hoot Full Moon Party, which was voted Best Local Show of 2007 in the Austin Chronicle Critics Poll.

| Emo’s on Red River |

Photo via Ed Lehman

After some 19 years on the block, Emo’s on Red River closed its doors on December 31st, 2011. This original rock club had more history and character oozing from its walls (and urinal) than just about any other place in town. After opening its doors in 1992, the venue helped build the Red River music scene and hosted some of the biggest names in the business. Emo’s on Red River is survived by its big brother, Emo’s on East Riverside.

| Beauty Bar |

Photo via Ed Lehman

After 5 years at its location on 7th St and Red River, Beauty Bar Austin shut its doors shortly after SXSW 2012. It was the most glittery place in town to drink, dance, smoke, and get your hair/nails done. It was also host to that DFA 1979 show that caused a riot. Beauty Bar is survived by its swanky big brother, Beauty Ballroom, located next to Emo’s on Riverside.

| Skinny’s Ballroom |

Photo via Skinny’s Ballroom

Skinny’s Ballroom had a short yet popular run. Opened in February 2010, this bar and music venue was located off the corner of 2nd and San Jacinto in a seemingly doomed location that has seen multiple businesses (Hank’s Garage, Deja Vu) come and go over the years. Skinny’s closed after their July 28, 2012 show, but in their 2+ year run they booked tons of local bands, which were often recorded live and streamed online.

| The Murals On The Railroad Bridge Over Lady Bird Lake |

Photo via Steve Hopson

The murals that adorned the Union Pacific Railroad Trestle over Town Lake were painted over by a maintenance crew in October.  “Focus One Point and Breathe” and “Let’s Pretend We’re Robots” were long-time features of the rail bridge, in full view of the Lamar Boulevard Bridge and the Pflueger Pedestrian Bridge. Thanks to coverage from the Austinist, we know they’re gone but not forgotten.

| South Lamar As We Know It |

Art Print By Jake Bryer

The Lamar Plaza shopping center that houses the Alamo Drafthouse and the Highball will undergo an on-again off-again transformation tha calls for more than 400 apartments, along with retail shops and restaurants. Further south, the iconic Broken Spoke dance hall will be surrounded by a $60 million project — tentatively named The 704 — consisting of 350+ apartments and about 20,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. The South Lamar Trailer Bazaar came and went, and the corner of Manchaca and S. Lamar is currently being razed.

| Cheapo Records |

Photo via Cheapo Records on Facebook

Cheapo Records will be closing on Christmas Eve. The 15-year-old retail store at 915 North Lamar will soon join several other Austin record stores that were unable to survive the digital music age, including BackSpin Records, Sound on Sound, and Sound Exchange. Fun fact: Their location on North Lamar was previously home to the Mother Earth nightclub, where Austin psychedelic rockers 13 Floor Elevators played in the early 1970s.

| Only Having 1 Area Code |


Our two-year-old April Fools’ Day joke has actually come true, and Austin is getting a new area code. That’s some bad karma. And it’s 737, which doesn’t rhyme with “Do”, so I guess we’ll stick with what we’ve got. If you are OG and have a 512 number, you’ll need to start dialing all ten digits starting in June of 2013. The new area code will start being distributed on July 1st, 2013.

| One Weekend of Austin City Limits Music Festival |

Photo via David Weaver

The Austin City Limits Music Festival will expand to two weekends in 2013. The festival will run Oct. 4-6 and Oct. 11-13 in Zilker Park, and both weekends will feature essentially the same lineup. What remains a mystery is what all of these bands are going to do during the six days between performances. Do512 Lounge Sessions anyone?

| Some Food and Restaurants We’ll Miss |

  • Bottomless Mimosas at Tacos & Tequila (TABC apparently cracked down)
  • Zen on South Congress (except Lucky Robot is way better)
  • Casita Taco on South Lamar (big breakfast tacos and fiery hot salsa)
  • JMueller BBQ (now La Barbecue “Cuisine Texicana”)
  • Sundayz Soul Food Trailer at Volstead Lounge (fantastic chicken sandwiches)
  • The Broken Yolk (unforgettable breakfast sammies)
  • The Screaming Goat (cheap beer specials, floating flautas, and killer trivia)
  • Bite Mi on Guadalupe (cheapest bahn-mi in town?)
  • Artz Rib House (the bluegrass and brisket nachos were a delight)
  • La Boite on South Congress (we’ll miss their iced coffee and macaroons)
  • Zandunga Mexican Bistro (their bread pudding was incredible)
  • East Side Drive In Food Trailer Park (Bits And Druthers et al)

| A Couple Of Things We Might Not Miss |

Jovita’s Heroin Enchiladas, and the Yassine Coke-Bar Empire

-Lawrence Boone

57 Responses to Rest In Peace Austin, Texas 2012

  1. Laura says:

    I have an out of state area code and have been dialing 10 digits for quite some time now…its not that bad folks, you’ll get used to it! And it will help improve your working memory :)

  2. Frinklestein says:

    Shut up, Laura.

  3. The Green House on 53rd/NorthLoop… /thrift store/community hangout

  4. Misha Teller says:

    I moved away in 2002. I think it all started with Katz’s closing. Sad, indeed.

  5. Linda says:

    La Boite was on South Lamar. Apparently somebody else has already picked that location up.

  6. Rose says:

    What about Paradise Cafe on 6th st?,

  7. Whitney says:

    Mean Eyed Cat RIP!

  8. T says:

    You dial? There’s this thing called “Siri”…

  9. Shane says:

    RIP Bits and Druthers. I miss that place every day.

  10. M says:

    Don’t forget about Beso cantina! Sad to see it go!

  11. RedSonja says:

    La Zona Rosa? Closed in Nov, now some cheesy hip hop club. It’s a shame so many iconic venues have been shut down to make room for things not so Austin. Austifornia.

    • anti_douches says:

      You know what, Sonja? That is exactly the same thing that Los Angelenos were saying, in the fifties and sixties, about the massive influx of Texans.

    • malaquite says:

      Nothing new, there was a bumper sticker floating around in the mid-’80’s: Don’t Californicate Austin”.

  12. Sharon Jewel says:

    also Mean Eyed Cat and Jorges Mexican Restaurant

  13. Latisha Anderson says:

    Been in Austin all my life and so much has changed not sure if it for the better either

  14. Tiffany says:

    I love Austin. I have lived here for 16 years and in that time I have seen this town go from amazing and eclectic, to a hipster mini Dallas. I am just glad that I got to experience all the wonderful places and things that are now gone. :(

  15. Gary Walker says:

    But what about Leslie?

  16. Rozey H says:

    Dog Almighty in the shopping center where the Rockin Tomato is closed this year :(

  17. DJFelix says:

    And when we said the smoking ban would result in massive bar closures, forever changing the face of Austin forever, people said we were nuts. You reap what you sow, people. Five years from now, Austin will be entirely indiscernible from Dallas or Houston.

  18. Jason Stoddard says:

    What’s more depressing is when you forget long-standing institutions that closed this year. Jeffrey’s and Shoreline Grill closed. Jeff, Ron and Peggy are the forefamilies of the Austin dining scene and served pretty much everybody that was anybody (and then some) for the last 30+ years. While every pub appeals to its audience (and with that comes frame-error,) without Jeff, Ron and Peggy and what they did for the up-and-comers and for Austin as a whole, Austin would be very different and no doubt worse for it. They deserve to be recognized.

  19. kelly says:

    Nothing gold can ever stay.

  20. Lest we whine too much, the old Beauty Bar site is now reopened as Holy Mountain, with a much better stage and still all of the outdoor hanging out. My list of closings has to include Sagra — which lost its lease at 1610 San Antonio over the issue of sidewalk seating, and the original location of Best Wurst (now occupied by an impostor).

  21. stormy says:

    I miss emos, what’s sad is that everywhere u turn are just fancy condos taking over Austin. Go home out of state people. Keep Austin weird

  22. Avi Freakin' Hartman says:

    I’ve gone through all the stages of grief at this point. The first big loss for me was Sound Exchange, my favorite first stop, along with Inner Sanctum, on the Drag back when the Drag was still vital. I drank coffee and sang at Quack’s before it was a Diesel outlet before it was a Chipotle. It’s part of growing up anywhere. Fifteen years ago, when I had my first legal drink at Lovejoy’s, I would be inconsolable about loss. After that rage, it’s weariness, then apathy, then a strange kind of optimism. Since I was no bigger than a weevil, they’ve been talking about the Armadillo. My generation talks about Liberty Lunch. My younger brothers and sisters will tell anyone who will listen about Lovejoy’s and Emo’s. The cycle continues. If you ever really loved this town, open a new bar or record store or cafe, or just throw an old-school FXFY back yard party. Keep that spirit alive. I was born and raised here. Natives like me are outnumbered, but I, for one, won’t let anyone chase me out of my hometown.

    • Violet says:

      Avi, I’m from your gen too. Stage diving at Liberty Lunch. Rice and beans next to the fire at Les Amis. Laughing at friends and places when Slackers came out. I was born here and hopefully I’ll die here. But I like your way of thinking.
      Things change. My parents are native Austinites and groaned and bitched when I was a teen about the changes. It’s just better to embrace the good new things and bring some of Austin history along to share with the wide eyed hungry kids aching for some authenticity and culture.
      Don’t bemoan it. Cultivate it.

  23. Robado says:

    Austin will never be the same. All you f8cknuts moved here and farked it up. I know … its not your fault. Sandra Bullock and some magazine told you this was the place to move. But you’re so far removed from what Austin was about that you’ll never catch what made it cool. Austin RIP. BS reigns.

  24. Mr. Robado says:

    Yo pooftas … You might wanna change the time on your blog … It seems a wee bit off. All wanking aside … very informative piece. lol

  25. Austin born and raised says:

    Austin is my home town and have never thought of having other ppl come and destroy whats to pretty. fuk you out of towners coming and redoin our city just makin it more hipster sheek whatever its fuckin called! All of you who arent from here who havent became an austinite by smokin at mnt binel or go tovpeace park for eeyorea bday you should leave. This isnt a city to play stupid with bc we will come back with vengeance!

  26. Drake Fuller says:

    I miss and worked at Shaggies on South Congress years ago.. I miss it.. I had an Art show at LoveJoy’s and shopped at El Cheapos..
    I visited Austin about 8 years ago and lived there from 86′ to 91′..
    Boy has it changed!
    To hear all this is saddening!

  27. Mr. Monkey says:

    I moved to Austin in 1987 and I can assure you that this kind of change happens all the time. It’s nothing new. Remember Liberty Lunch? Curfew? The Drag is so different from my teen years that I don’t even recognize it anymore. This happens in all cities. Austinites just seem obsessed with “old school”. I remember when South Austin was nothing but retirees where you weren’t likely to wind up for a party. Now it’s treated like some kind of sacred cathedral of the “true” Austin. In 10 years everybody will be lamenting the loss of the things that come up this year and talking about the times when Austin was Real. Austin will always be Austin. No need to worry.

  28. AKDollface says:

    I’ve been here for a good amount of time. My husband and I decided that Austin would be the town for us when we got married years ago. We came here when Austin was at it’s greatest. I started my own business, my husband became an integral part of the ER at our favorite downtown trauma hospital. We came here to contribute in the spirit of what Austin was then. We fell in love with this place.

    But, now, we would rather stay home than to go out because the entire dynamic of this city has changed. The people, the places, the food, the culture. It’s so very sad. Austin has reached the end of it’s era for those of us who reveled in spirit of “old” Austin. It was perfect. Now, it’s just another city that big money has come in and ruined. And I won’t even expand on how I feel about the new people…let’s just say that “rude”, “stuck-up”, and “cookie-cutter” come to mind.

    So, even though I will always keep my 512 area code, we are off to greener pastures at the end of 2013. Maybe back to New Orleans where, although not as safe, culture never changes. It is bright, vibrant, and centuries in the making. I always thought of Austin with the same sentiment, but no longer…

  29. Frank says:

    Well if people are so sad about then they can do something about it. BUY LOCAL, STAY LOCAL. It’s not complicated.

  30. RDB says:

    I’m a Born and Raised Austinite for well over 50 years and Musician for 30 of it. Seen everying from then till now. in 1980 Austin and San Diego were picked as the premier cities to move to; and so it happened. It is because they are GREAT cities. So growth; population; economy; industry…well everything really(except for the amount of space)Grew. Yes it is over crowed. Yes They ALL came; from all walks of life. Yes everything/everyone has influenced this town and that is what has always made Austin. Yes we Austinites don’t like many of the changes; but we all carry cell phones…and remember when their wasn’t cell phones?? Well point being; yes this is an original Austinite actually saying….” yes you are welcome here; yes folks come here if you can; it is still the greatest City anywhere; but you have to promise to do what you can to keep it Great” ….what makes anything great is the amount of Pride put into it.
    So go do it.

  31. Jwitt says:

    Well there’s been a lot of good chang recently, especially having to do with city council. A lot of the ‘Dallas-ification’ of Austin was because city council was only approving very high-end apartments and establishments. Basically catering to rich yuppies to move here. Now the whole districting process for the council is totally different which is HUGE. Look up ‘austinites for geographic representation’ which passed last election. And get active locally! Don’t be so cynical. I’ve only been here for 6 years so it’s hard to tell, but this town will always be a very locally based place where the people have a lot of power so we just need to do our part.

  32. Uptown Alan says:

    All places eveolve and change. We just need to find the new places that work with us. Check out The Liberty on east 6th. Cheer up Charlies. Curra’s, Lucy in Disguise, Prima Dora on south Congress. hang on to the Magnolia Cafe and Kerbey Lane on Kerbey Lane. Texas Chili Parlor (one of my first hang outs in Austin). Contenintal, Broken Spoke, Ginny’s Little Longhorn. La La’s, Poodle Dog, the Carousel Lounge, Scoot Inn & The Longbranch Saloon. There are still surviving “old” Austin haunts. Support them

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