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Davis Hardware on Congress Avenue


I loved this place. It was on the east side of Congress around the 300 or 400 block. Loved the smell and looking at all the unique things there. My dad bought me my first rifle there from Smokey. He ran the gun department and everybody went to see Smokey. I still have that rifle. Haven't shot it in 30 years.

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.

The Day John Lennon Died

Outdoors | People

Who was here that fateful day, Dec. 8, 1980? It was actually the day after that I remember. I was awakened, as always back then, to KLBJ-FM. Note, that was when KLBJ was good; before it changed into their current "Hey man, let's party!" blazing guitars and hair mode. Anyway, the DJ was very somber and announced that Lennon had been killed the night before. They played only Beatles and Lennon that day non-stop, no commercial breaks. I had to go to work but I was completely shocked into an altered sense of being. The Beatles meant so much to us all. Around 5:00pm or so, I was at my girlfriend's apartment and she told me of a gathering at Zilker under the Zilker Christmas tree... we had to go.

What we found there was a very large but quiet crowd of Austin under the tree. Some had brought candles to pass around and soon there was a large circle of folks, all holding candles, around the base of the tree, all facing in. We cried, we sang, we thought of the damage that Mark David Chapman had done. We all knew that things had fundamentally changed that night. Austin certainly never felt the same again. It seemed like from that day forward, the pace of change in Austin has done nothing but get faster, accelerating away from us.

Austin's Famous Mexican Restaurant


Can anyone enlighten me about the name of the Mexican restaurant where it was all you can eat - and when you wanted more - you just raised the flag on your table - and here came the seconds, and thirds, and on and on! Of course, being on a student's budget, the "all you can eat" feature was great - and boy, could we put it away back then! I just remember Ron Franklin's creative advice that if you start with the sopapillas, you'd have no problem -- (like a plug for the drain!) Classy...

WurstFest - New Braunfels


Well, I knew U.T. would be a fun place when I visited my sister, Ann Sidor (Baird), during my junior year in highschool (1968), and she was already a freshmen in Longhorn country. I arrived at her apartment while she was still in class, and ran into some other hometown (older - well, at least 18) friends who invited me to join them on a jaunt down to New Braunsfels for WurstFest (or was it "BeerFest"?!) Of course, I couldn't resist and headed out with them not even thinking of my "under age" issue. When she arrived home, no Andrea, and all she saw was a note on her bed -- "I'm off to New Braunfels with Jan" (Nichols - our neighbor from back home). So much for her following our mother's admonition - "Now, take care of Andrea while she's there!" Needless to say - I was cut free from our small town where we had grown up, and I was ready to take in the action! And after I arrived at U.T. 2 years later (1970), I kept the action going for the next 4 years, and loved every minute of it. (By the way, the cops at WurstFest bought my story of really being 18, and I had just left my driver's license at home!!). Oh, the good ole' days.

Best Products


Anyone remember a Best Products store in Central/North Austin? I worked at one for about 6 months back in 76 or 77. About 10 of us got fire one night 'cause someone shipped a joint in one of those vaccum tubes that was used to request the orders. Trying to remember where it was located. (and no it wasn't me who shipped it!)

More old austin restaurants


Not going back as far, but in the late 70s, early 80s you could find:

The Red Keg out 183 (almost to TI)
People's restaurant (on Anderson in the Village)
Hambergers by Gourmet (downstairs from the video game place on the drag)
Hilberts on Lamar (recently moved)
Mike and Charlie's (ok, really a bar, now a parking lot)
Chez Fred (couple of locations out north)
San Francisco Steakhouse (recently died, but lived for a very long time)
Nighthawk south I35
Tumbleweed Steakhouse/BBQ (on top of Tumbleweed hill on 2222)
Haufbrau Steak house (across from Katz's Deli)
La Tapatia Mexican food on 2nd
Jorge's Uptown Margarita Bar and Grill on Lavaca
Hut's of course (still going strong)

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...