Private Clubs in Downtown Austin: The Austin Club and Its Murals

Private Clubs in Downtown Austin: The Austin Club and Its Murals

There are three main private clubs that I know about in downtown Austin.  They are Headliners, The Metropolitan Club* (*gone at Plaza Lofts but coming back elsewhere), and The Austin Club.

The Metropolitan* is was a little different than the other two, in that its more of a spa concept, whereas Headliners and The Austin Club are true private dining clubs, and welcome both men and women.

Both Headliners and The Austin Club have a lot of interesting history.  For instance, Headliners used to actually be located at the top of The Westgate Condos in Austin, Texas (and before The Westgate, they were located in The Driskill Hotel. The Club is now on the 21st floor of The Chase Tower at 6th and Lavaca.)  The Westgate Condos actually referenced Headliners as part of their request for historic designation.

The Austin Club is currently located at 110 E. 9th Street (two blocks south of the Capitol building, right off of Congress to the East), the club was founded in 1949, and currently has 1,100 members (many of which are associated with the Legislature in some capacity).  The Austin Club has been in this location – also known as the historic Millet Opera House, since 1981.  The Millet Opera house was built in 1878, and is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.  When the Capitol building burned down in late 1881, the building was actually used to host legislative sessions until the new Capitol was built.

However, one of my FAVORITE things about the Austin Club are the murals they have in their main dining room. In 1992, the club commissioned Chicago artist Richard Anderson to paint a series of murals depicting performances that took place at the Millett Opera House in the mid to late 1800s.

Below / After the jump are pictures of the murals with their descriptions.  There’s also a “map” at the bottom left of each picture showing the location of each mural within the main dining room of the Austin Club.

The murals are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the interesting things about The Austin Club and the Millet Opera House.  Their membership director, Shelly Edwards, is extremely knowledgeable and eager to share some pretty interesting stories about the club.

If you aren’t already a member (membership is surprisingly reasonable, and comes with a host of good benefits) or haven’t had the chance to visit the Austin Club at one of the many functions they host – you may consider joining the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association for their Holiday Party there on Wednesday, December 19th, from 6:30-8:30pm, where you may be able to get a glimpse of these murals up close and in person.  Members get in free, non-members are $5. For more information and a link to RSVP, visit the Downtown Austin Neighborhood site (link).

About amber gugino

Amber Gugino loves living downtown and has been an active board member of the The Shore Condo Owners Association, Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association and member of the Junior League of Austin. She adores her dog, Blog, and she learns something new about downtown Austin every day.


  1. You are forgetting the University of Texas club

    • amber gugino says:

      I’m using MLK as my north border of downtown proper – its the same border that DANA and the City of Austin use, too – I believe. Certainly, that is downtown accessible, though.

      Lamar – West border
      I35 – East border
      MLK – North border
      Ladybird Lake – South border

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