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.
In what was once a generic roadside warehouse, Patsy's Cowgirl Cafe now brims with inviting, kitschy personality. Shannon Sedwick and Michael Shelton, the entrepreneurs behind comedy hotspot Esther's Follies, decorated the ceiling with tumbleweeds and tree branches and built a bar inlaid with mosaic tilework. There's a stage for live music or tomato-throwing duels, behind which a mural depicts a cowgirl on horseback rearing up against the sunset. In the words of Austin Chronicle writer Virginia B. Wood, "Patsy's has great style and personality, the drinks are good, and the eclectic selection of local music is free."
The food is another popular reason to visit. Chefs prepare Texas staples such as hand-breaded chicken-fried steak with cracked-pepper gravy, and they also put their own spin on the classics with dishes such as chicken-fried portobello mushrooms in vegetarian cilantro-cream sauce. There's also a roster of burgers and veggie burgers named after local celebrities, and libations such as the mexican martini with tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and olive juice.
A team of passionate instructors fosters a community of health- and wellness-conscious patrons brought together by Bodhi Yoga's classes, spa treatments, and a boutique stocked with items to help integrate healthy-living practices into daily routines. Yoga sessions range in difficulty and style, including vigorous Vinyasa- and hot-yoga classes, to accommodate downward-facing dogs of all skill levels and breeds. Patrons looking to enhance a wellness-focused lifestyle may pay a visit to the facility's resident holistic healers, who perform massage body work, acupuncture, cosmetic laser teeth whitening, and skincare services.
Located on the historic 6th Street in downtown Austin-Texas, Beale Street Tavern is a tribute to the "King of Rock and Roll", Elvis Presley. A dimly lit joint offering a full American menu with appetizing delicacies, such as the Deep Fried Peanut Butter & Banana sandwich, an Elvis favorite.
A platinum-earning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Adam Young, a.k.a. Owl City, is a dexterous one-man band whose blend of new wave and indie pop has earned him the allegiance of eardrums near and far. Touring in support of his latest album, All Things Bright and Beautiful, Owl City swoops through soulful tunes, making appendages wobble rhythmically while brains twirl in introspection. Sharing the stage at this all-ages jubilee is Mat Kearney, who weaves his pop instincts and smart lyricism into toe-tapping tapestries, and the instrumentalists of Unwed Sailor make a musical statement without the use of words, semaphore, or Morse code.
The Continental Club isn’t shy about embracing its past, claiming to be Austin’s first true burlesque club. Since opening in 1957, the elevated stage has showcased some of the finest blues, rockabilly, country and swing music in the city. Vintage signs and posters of past performers line the perimeter, meaning burlesque dancers like Candy Barr share wall space with musical legends like Mojo Nixon. By the bar, a chalkboard lists the week’s musical lineup, while the back is filled with packed-together tables, encouraging visitors to trade their seats for the dance floor. Couples twirl and two-step while the bands play, lit ever-so-slightly by the red curtain sporting the club’s name behind them. In a separate room behind the stage, guests play pool while admiring the motorcycle that hangs from the ceiling.