Austin January 24, 2018
8 Long Gone Places Every Austinite Misses
Austin grows so rapidly that it’s almost unrecognizable from what it was ten years ago. The skyline has evolved, the restaurants have changed, and the roads are crowded from bumper to bumper. While some venues like Antone’s and Ego’s have managed to survive this city’s inflating market, others have not been so lucky. Locals look back on these places with nostalgia and sadness, always mourning the days gone by. These are 8 places every Austinite misses.
1. The Armadillo World Headquarters
Every time someone mentions The Armadillo World Headquarters, an Austinite's heart breaks. This iconic music venue is credited with kick starting the live music scene in the '70's, and hundreds of famous artists played within its walls. This momentous stage was demolished in 1981, but it's legacy will live on forever.
2. Liberty Lunch
Being the Live Music Capital of The World doesn't come without a few casualties. Liberty Lunch reigned over West 2nd Street from the '70s to the '90s, but was eventually torn down in 1999. This music venue featured everything from reggae to country, and locals still pine over this long lost gem.
Flipnotics is another local business that left the city too soon. This green building on Barton Springs Road was part coffee shop and part listening room, and it charmed central Austin from 1992 to 2014.
4. South Park Meadows
Remember when this strip mall was an epic outdoor concert venue? It's hard to imagine it these days, but in the '80s and '90s this place was a hub for the best and brightest national talent. Willie Nelson hosted the 1984 Fourth of July picnic among the sprawling fields, and you could dig your toes into the grass and float away on his guitar picking.
5. The Filling Station
This south Austin joint hit all the marks: tasty burgers, scrumptious hot dogs, and hot fries. While you can always find greasy eats like these at Dan's and Hut's Hamburgers, nothing beat the nostalgic charm of The Filling Station.
6. The Sound Exchange
Record stores used to sit in every neighborhood back in the day, but few of them survived past the '90s. The Sound Exchange sat on the corner of Guadalupe and 21st street, and the only remaining evidence lies with Jeremiah the Innocent. Painted by musician Daniel Johnson, this quirky little frog is oddly endearing.
7. Les Amis Cafe
It wasn't uncommon to find performers like Art Garfunkel and Jack Nicholson at Les Amis Cafe. This bohemian business attracted the most innovative minds in Austin from 1970 to 1997.
8. The Original Backyard
Austinites remember this venue as a place where you could get up close and personal with the artists on stage. Twenty dollars could buy you a ticket to see Bob Dylan from the front row, and the acoustics rang without hesitation. As time moves forward, however, things have to adjust. The Original Backyard closed in late 2007, and a new development with the same name now sits in Bee Cave.
The New Backyard is a lively hub for tech companies, foodies and live music, but there's no denying the joy brought from the good ol' days.
These are only a few of Austin’s most beloved, lost businesses. Which one do you miss the most?