If you have lived in Austin for any length of time, I am certain that you have passed the Say Hi store at Burnet and North Loop. I have been passing it for 38 years. In all that time, I never knew what it was, never went in, and always wondered about it.
Today, I went in. I was looking for a unique birthday present and thought Say Hi might have what I was looking for. They did. I met the storekeeper who gracefully said "This is my wife's store, not mine" and told me that Say Hi opened in 1974. He also told me that he would be gone in 6 months, closing the store and retiring.
Say Hi may be the purest remaining old Austin institution. Clearly they are not in it to get rich. Instead, they have held down that corner at North Loop and Burnet for 42 years without change.
That space will likely become a new-Austin bar or restaurant, which is not bad but it is the turning over of the city into something else door-by-door.
I demand that the first craft beer served in whatever becomes in that location be poured out in honor of Mr and Mrs Say Hi.