Archives for November 2011

Take a Downtown Holiday Stroll and See Some Art – Saturday 12/3/2011

Take a Downtown Holiday Stroll and See Some Art – Saturday 12/3/2011

It’s free. It’s family-friendly. And heck, yeah, it’s even fun. This Saturday, December 3, 2011, marks the 9th annual Holiday Sing-Along and Downtown Stroll – culminating in a Tree Lighting Ceremony at The Capitol Steps in Downtown Austin. The event is a partnership effort of the Downtown Austin Alliance and KUT, and it’s a pretty nice thing to do.

A couple of cool special events that caught my eye in coordination with the Downtown Holiday Stroll to note: [Read more…]

THE NOOK: New Bar To Fill A Hole On E. 6th Street

THE NOOK: New Bar To Fill A Hole On E. 6th Street

Based on the TABC application mounted to the facade, 309 E 6th Street could become productive again.  The applicant, “The Nook“, is seeking a “Mixed Beverage-Late Hours” permit.

Prior to some dedicated stewardship from 6ixth Street Austin’s board of directors (notably Tim League’s cadre of creative support, Wild About Music’s Fred Schmidt, and 6ixth Street Austin Executive Director, Josh Allen) all that remained at 309 E 6th Street was a hole – a legacy from the summer of 2002 when the Black Cat Lounge burned down.  For years a chain link fence guarding the site added to the blight around “Dirty Sixth”.

The building’s Houston-based owners, George and Mark Santikos, worked with 6ixth Street Austin to erect a colorful temporary facade depicting “Austin, Texas Live Music Capitol of The World” which blocks the view of building carnage.  That sign has become one of the most recognizable and photographed things in downtown Austin.   [Read more…]

What Type Of Retail Will Replace The AMOA?

What Type Of Retail Will Replace The AMOA?

With downtown Austin’s AMOA no longer exhibiting at 823 Congress Ave, what will fill the void?  Most stakeholders I know are hoping for retail.

The corner space includes 12,000 square feet, lots of glass (fenestration for the urbanistas), and has a nice outside plaza.

It’s clear what is missing from the downtown retail mix: a large destination retail store that appeals to a broad base of customers; rather than a boutique store with a limited audience.

Will us downtown Austin condo dwellers get our wish for a Breed & Company or Target (don’t hate!).  Time will tell.  Until then it’s fun to speculate about how to achieve highest and best use of this great space.

What do you want to see?  Use the comments and see more pics after the jump.   [Read more…]

Downtown Austin’s Asian Cuisine Corridor (Mai Thai Austin MENU & Restaurant Review)

Downtown Austin’s Asian Cuisine Corridor (Mai Thai Austin MENU & Restaurant Review)

Did you know, that in the two blocks between Cesar Chavez and 3rd Street on San Jacinto, there are four restaurants that fall under the category of Asian cuisine – Chinese (P.F. Chang’s), Japanese (Piranha Killer Sushi), and Mongolian (Mongolian Grille Downtown), and now, with the area’s newest addition, Thai (Mai Thai)?  I’m gonna start calling this the Asian Cuisine Corridor – I’m hoping the name will catch on.

I noticed this informal agglomeration walking back to my house after my first meal at Mai Thai.

[Read more…]

Brooks Brothers Brings Back The Brass

Brooks Brothers Brings Back The Brass

Walking up to the entrance of the new Brooks Brothers store in downtown Austin‘s Scarbrough building, I smiled.

I thought to myself, this is how downtown retail should look and feel.  The entrance has a gilded age grandeur that we’re no longer accustomed to in a downtown retailer.  Big window displays run the length of the building.  You’re greeted by brass doors with elegant hardware.  It’s the details that matter. [Read more…]