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Oak Hill Bars in the 60's


I practically grew up in the bars out in Oak Hill. It was very rural then and pretty tough area of town.

Highway Cafe, run by Grouchy was my parents favorite.

The Western Inn, the last incarnation was Serrano's before it was torn down. Spent lots of time there too. Had a track that us kids played on. Dug crawfish out of the banks of the creek behind the place. The owner went to jail for cattle rustling. Steaks were cheap.

The Spot. Very small place close to what is now Oak Hill Liquor. Had a little red dot that spun around outside. My sister's father in law's favorite place.

Sportsman Inn... tough place, lots of gambling went on there. Many pool tables. Coleman's garage is now located on that spot.

Circleville Inn. corner of Circle Drive and Thomas Springs Road. Great story with that place. Shooting took place there and the fight was on again at Brackenridge in the emergency room. It was one of the toughest places around. Lots of cedar choppers went there.

The Little Wheel.. now the location of the 290 Bar and Grill. Good little beer joint with a small dance floor.

Cottonwood Inn.. Across the street from the Circleville Inn. If you felt like getting into a fight go to either place.

Later on...The Silver Dollar. Our 10 year reunion (Crockett High School) in 1980 involved a visit to this dancehall.

Squirrel's Inn


This little green building on the corner of Barton Springs and Riverside Drive was next to my dad's shop. He went there most every afternoon to knock down a couple. Threadgill's is there now.

I just remember the longnecks and the small glasses that they poured the beer into.

Enchanted Tavern


On the road to Volente, you can still find the shell of the Enchanted Tavern. Just another cedar chopper bar way back when...

Kings Dew Drop Inn


There wasnt much to recommend driving to Volente except the drive. At the intersection of Volente Highway and Lime Creek Road (at the stop sign downtown Volente) was the King's Dew Drop Inn. Now a real-estate office...

Sittin' Bull


I was 18 and new to town.I was a blues fan, but Antones was yet to open.There was not much of a blues scene yet.I heard that the band to see was Storm.I checked the paper and saw they were playing a place called Sittin' Bull.Imagine my surprise as this 18 year old walks into a topless bar for the first time.The guitarist was excellent..some pony-tailed guy named Jimmie Vaughn.Lewis Cowdery played harp and sang.The late,great Freddie Pharoah Walden on drums.Sorry I forget the bassists name,but I believe he later played with Anson Funderburgh for years{so did Freddie].Weeks later,Jimmie Vaughn and Kim Wilson started a new band,and Antones opened.A historic summer for sure.

Ginny's Little Longhorn


Surely you've been to Ginny's at least once. You remember, it was that time you went to see Dale Watson on a Wednesday night. Maybe it was on one of the chicken shit Sundays. Or perhaps, it was even before that... before it was Ginny's even. That little square building of honky tonk perfection was originally Dick's Little Longhorn. Ginny inherited it through kindness and duty. In any case, it's safe to say "It don't get more Austin than that."

Ginny and Sharon (as far as I know) are still tending bar, the music is still real country music that fosters participation. The type of music that has fused the Austin culture together better than any other force.
Please, for me, go to Ginny's, sit at the bar, order a Lone Star, enjoy the no-cover-required music, and savor the way it used to be. Oh and by the way, the restrooms are the way they used to be also!

Les Amis

Bars | Restaurants | UT

As Joni Mitchell said "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone", and so I feel about Les Amis. I never really hung out there beyond the occasional lunch or afternoon beer. The crowd there was always a little too artsey, too east-coast bohemian, and the menu was expensive! Looking back though, "Les" was a cultural nugget for old Austin and especially for campus culture. It was there during the riots, during the fawning disco days, during the punk scene, and it had a place and purpose in each of those.

The film "Viva Les Amis" should be required viewing for anyone on this site. Good history and snapshots from our time gone by. Here's one for you... look familiar?

The Back Room


Anyone remember the two guys who ued to do an acoustic set at this place in the mid/late 70's? They were great/funny showman as well as great musicians. They'd pack the joint everytime they played.

Vulcan Gas Company


The Vulcan Gas Company was a downtown venue where bands performed with psychedelic light shows as a backdrop. It was a place to see and be seen, to listen and enjoy. It may not have been a bar, but I vaguely remember alcohol's being involved somehow.

Pink Lizard


The Pink Lizard was a real dive located on the drag somewhere between the Orange Bull and 24th Street. It was a one story bar with low ceilings, wet floors, dim lights, and cold beer. The juke box was the best...Magic Carpet Ride, Hey Jude, lots of other great classic rock and roll table-top-dancing tunes. It was there in the late '60's and the 70's.