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.  

309 E 6th Street Before

309 E 6th Street Before

309 E 6th Street after

About Jude Galligan

Jude Galligan, REALTOR, Principal of TOWERS Realty and publisher of Downtown Austin Blog (aka. "DAB"), spends his time matching remarkable people with remarkable properties in Austin’s urban core. A resident owner in downtown Austin, Jude has served on the Board of the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) and the City of Austin Downtown Commission. Contact Jude.


  1. The Nook Bar on E 6th project was designed by Hajek & Associates.
    Team: Jiri Hajek, William Webb AIA Architect

    For conceptual renderings of the project, visit the AIA Austin website for more information on this project.

  2. I spent the better chunk of the early/mid nineties at the Black Cat. I even got to play the stage once during an audition, but Sasha rightfully never booked us a gig (we didn’t deserve one!). This was when it was a mecca for Little Sister, Joe Rockhead, Sunflower and a gajillion other sweaty band fans. 99 cent Pabst Blue Ribbon!

    Good times. Glad to hear it’s getting some life again.

  3. Lance Hunter says

    I was working downtown the night the Black Cat burned down. I remember leaving the bar after finishing all our cleaning, tip-outs, register counts, and after-hours drinking, only to see some of the regular bums standing around and pointing in the Black Cat’s direction. I walked down the street to see a small crowd gathered around and watching a tremendous amount of fire coming out of that spot. By the time there were enough fire trucks there to properly fight the thing, they were mostly having to make sure that the fire wouldn’t spread to the other buildings.

    The Black Cat was the epicenter of the rockabilly scene in Austin. Nowhere else even came close. I remember the excitement from some friends at a tattoo parlor who were opening a second location that was going to be the closest place to the Black Cat on 6th. Of course, then they really upset when another parlor opened downstairs from them (and even called itself “Black Cat Tattoo”).

    When the Black Cat burned down, the rockabilly scene never really recovered. A lot of those bands and the people who followed them moved on to spots on Red River, but it was never as big as it used to be. Also, there was a definite shift in the flavor of 6th Street. It used to be that all the punks and rockabillies were mixed in with the club kids, frat/sorority types, and hip-hop heads that were down on 6th. You don’t see them down there nearly as much anymore (except occasionally drinking at the Jackalope, or on their way to Lovejoy’s). The result is a 6th Street that’s a little less interesting (especially once you’re over the age of 25).

    It’s good to see something finally being built there. I imagine it’ll be a regular bar without any kind of entertainment (especially since I don’t think the new building will be able to get the historic site exception that allows any cover charge paid to get into the building be tax-free). Still, it’s better than a hole.

    One last thing: here’s a video of the Flametrick Subs (who were the featured band at the Black Cat every Saturday night) playing during their traditional Halloween show.

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