Kenneth Threadgill stood in line all night to be the first person in Travis County to get a beer license. It was 1933, and the bootlegger and country-music connoisseur had plans to evolve his filling station into something bigger?though even Threadgill probably couldn't have anticipated how big it would become.
It started with touring musicians stopping in for drinks after their shows. By the ?60s, Janis Joplin was on stage, polishing her unpolished sound for crowds from all walks of life. The evolution continued, with Threadgill's hosting artists from Jerry Lee Lewis to Captain Beefheart and expanding into a Southern-style restaurant where the love of music ironed out disagreements and engendered an atmosphere of tolerance.
Today, the original location on North Lamar harks back to Threadgill's beginnings, with current owner Eddie Wilson decking the place out with decor that evokes the Austin of the 1930s to the 1960s, including vintage signs that say, ?I can?t wait for the internet to be invented.? The second location on West Riverside celebrates the 1970s music scene that thrived at the Armadillo?Wilson's former establishment at that location. At both venues, chefs churn out classic Southern food, such as chicken-fried steak and fried green tomatoes, while frequent live music entertains guests.
Kick Butt's ebullient owner Thomas Gohring—who also owns and operates a tai chi and kung fu dojo—shatters your expectations of tree-bark coffee and stone-hard scones like a martial-arts master pulverizes a stack of cinderblocks by using only the finest Arabica beans grown and raised at Earth's loftiest altitudes. Start the midnight off right with a double espresso ($1.85), a mint mocha (regular for $3.90), or a Kung Fu coffee with Irish crème ($6). If you'd rather mellow than jolt, regular smoothies start at $3.85, and hot chocolate starts at $2.40. Since breakfast is the most important meal for any day of side-scrolling action/adventure, pick up an order of actual throwing stars ($3) with your croissant ($1.85) or a pair of nun-chucks ($12) with your cranberry muffin ($1.85). For a more potent power-up before facing the level boss, walk over a kick n' chicken samich ($6), a generous portion of chicken karate-chopped by Chuck Norris (hence its lack of bones) on a butter croissant topped with habanera and jalapeno peppers. Check out the full menu here.
Cake balls combine the airy, familiar texture of cake with the appearance of a large truffle, just like a PBR can stuffed inside a pheasant. The lineup of deadly good delectables includes red velvet with sweet-cream buttermilk and Valrhona cocoa, an Italian crème shaggy with coconut and diced pecans, and Montmorency cherry almond. The availability of some flavors may vary based on demand.
An elixir of Pacific Islanders for thousands of years, kava root has been brewed and sipped for its soothing effects, which have been known to ease anxiety and insomnia, while producing a feeling of ease and relaxation. Those loyal to its charms, drink it as a safe alternative to alcohol, touting its abilities to liven moods without impairment. At SquareR?t Kava Bar, kava is prepared and served in the traditional way?out of coconut shells. Available in a variety of strains, the menu also features the option to add different flavors, and a short list of snacks to enjoy alongside ceremonial bowls.
Originally from Haiti, lead instructor Anderson Sylvestre brings his Caribbean flair to the floor, whether he is stepping out for a national ballroom competition or teaching first-time dancers. Along with his fellow teachers, Anderson imparts the skills, self-confidence, and excitement of learning a new dance to students of all levels. His classes cover a host of styles, including tango, merengue, West Coast swing, and bolero, and also teaching old-time dances such as the lindy—inspired by Lyndon Johnson's graceful movements after stubbing his toe on Air Force One.
Wild About Harry's is a checker-floored diner that happily dishes out a host of hearty hot dogs and a daily flavor rotation of fresh, frozen custard. Kick back with a red-hot Southwest Firedog ($5.49) or satiate sauerkraut cravings with a New York dog ($4.49). Douse your blazing tongue in an icy mouthful of frozen custard whipped into a shake, such as the Hershey-infused Captain America ($4.99), or a sumptuous sundae, such as the banana split ($5.99). Creative frozen custard enthusiasts can festoon their frozen concoction with an assortment of toppings, including coconut shavings and sliced almonds ($0.80 each), and then dig in with a firmly gripped spoon and a loose understanding of where the dream world and real world separate.