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After parties got out of hand, refuge at Villa Capri


I was five. The year was '55. I don't know just what was in the works in the Lege, but whatever it was, my mom and my aunt thought it expedient not to have their families in the Commodore Perry where their husbands and their cronies operated their 'hospitality' suites. We relocated to the Villa Capri which had not only a better pool, but a good reason to cart over to Youngblood's or the Nighthawk instead of waiting endless hours for mediocre room service.

Well, the VC went the way of 19th Street and then on to demolition, but that's the way of the world. At least Scholz's and the Tavern are still with us.


The Good Food Store


I worked with a bunch of like-minded young people at the Good Food Store in the early 70's. I remember the main store on West 6th where Corezon Restaurant is now. There were also stores on W. 29th and on North Loop. Anyone else have memories of the Good Food Stores?

Shakey's Pizza


Does anyone remember Shakey's Pizza on the drag? Dad would take us there when we were young kids (early 70's). There was a player piano and we would always play "Yellow Rose of Texas." If you stood on a bench you could look through a window into the kitchen and watch them make the pizzas. Every now and then one of the cooks would grab a handful of flour and throw it at the window. Very cool!!

Rome Inn (for the record)


Hi Austin, My name is Arlo Watson, my husband Mike and I bought the Rome Inn, 1975 (Italian Restaurant) from Jack Davis and with a little help from our friends, Dan Clements and Ian Ridgeway ( carpenters from habitat Vancouver Canada)turned a restaurant into a night club. I booked the talent and Mike ran the business I did not book a style of music just good music. Alvin Crow with Johnny Gimble (twin fiddle night) Jimmy and the thunderbirds did my Blue Mondays one of my most successful nights, Paul Ray and the Cobra's, played Tuesday with the late and great SRV on guitar and the pinball machine on his break. Thanks to a lot of other great musicians, David Allen Coe, Rusty Weir, The Denims, Asleep (thanks Ray) I had to extend the sides of my stage to accommodate everyone, but worth it. 'Two Hot for Snakes' (willies band) had a guest list that filled the club and to the late and great Doug Sahm and the first version of the Texas Tornadoes with the SA west side horns and one of the best rhythm sections in the world George Rains and Jack Barber.There were so many more bands I would have to write a book. At best the club only broke even and we having to much fun, but it was time to do something else. C Boy Parks ran the club for duration of the lease and Stevie had the venue all to himself, a great way to end an era. Again, Thank you, Austin Texas, for the memories, Best to All, Love Arlo Watson (co owner of the Rome Inn)

Downtown outdoor music venue


Lost my memory years ago (actually Woodstock!). Loved and lived here for a few years in the mid-70's. I remember going to an outdoor music venue (City owned?) that had music by a creek downtown. Not by Town Lake, but rather where possibly Stubbs or someplace nearby. Went to a few shows and remember sitting on stone-like seating. Could be wrong - but the music was a little more laid back. Still it was a lot of fun kicking back on a warm summer's evening.
Since moving back I've been telling & showing my wife the stories of Austin in the 70's. That one venue still remains a mystery!

I ran Spellman's for over a year.


I became a bartender there in 1977. I ended up booking the music each month. This is when Hal owned, after Victor. Oh, yeah. I can name names. Good names, that is. Bill Neely and Larry Kirbo, Science Fiction Band, Buda Buzz Band, Roky Erikson's mom and brother, Dave...

Great times.

The Chequered Flag


My introduction to the Austin music scene came in 1971 at Rod Kennedy's Chcequered Flag on the SE corner of 15th and Lavaca. Long before the Kerrville Folk Festival, Rod had championed folk music at his club, and was one of the first to book the artists that would become known in the Cosmic Cowboy scene of the early to mid 1970's.

My buddy Barry and I went down there the first time to see Doug Kershaw. The Cajun fiddler was red hot at that time and was in full red velvet regalia, backed by a "local pick-up band" aka Greezy Wheels. God knows what I would think of that show now, but that night Barry and I were blown away by the intensity - the moral (!) equivalent of ten lines of Columbian Blue Flake. Being 18 helped I'm sure.

Another evening was equally notable -probably 1972, a Musician's Union Benefit, featuring Bobby Bridger, Michael Murphy, Jerry Jeff, Rusty, Layton and John, Jimmy Richie and certainly others I've forgotten (maybe Willis Alan Ramsey?). A seminal night in the development of the 70's Austin scene.

SAGE Department Store


Anybody remember SAGE on Airport by Highland Mall? Heard where SAGE stood for Serves All Gov't Employees, that it started out as serving gov't personnel only but then served the general public. Don't know if this was the case with the Austin store. Anyone know? They had EVERYTHING, including a liquor dept. My mom used to get all her cosmetics there. Think they had a pretty cool toy dept., too.

Ski Shores... another one bites the dust

Bars | Outdoors | Restaurants

Well, I really received a shock the other day. We had some guests from out of town who had spent enough time in Austin to know the cool spots. It was decided that we would all trek to Ski Shores for an afternoon of burgers, beer, and old-time Austin vibe. I suppose two out of three ain't bad but that vibe is long gone. Ski Shores has turned into little Disneyland with a bar... kids everywhere.

I don't fault the management for making a decision that will probably keep the business afloat and with us for many more years to come. It is just another notch on the list of "long gone" Austin places that personified the culture of our town. What passes for Austin culture these days seems to come out of a mayonnaise jar. Whether it's the artificial Bohemia of South Congress, the hipster popularity contest of East-side cocktail bars, or plastic playscape-themed conversions of previous dives, it all seems a little desperate.

Back in the 80's, Dallas seemed to "wake up" to what was happening in Austin and tried to manufacture hip culture: South Greenville, Deep Ellum, etc., were 100% contrived attempts at cool. I would look upon these with the smug satisfaction that here in Austin, we had the real thing. I look around now and and it seems that the pre-fab forces are gaining on us.

Dodge City Steak House


Anyone remember Dodge City Steakhouse out Lamar I beleive? They had sign saying if you have long hair you dont eat here. It was a riot. We would always mess with em' and try to get in. Then there was the Stallion, and the great 2 chicken fried steaks for like a buck and a half