What’s Next For Agora?

What’s Next For Agora?

Agora is closed.

It was a rocky start and a quick ending to the sports bar on East Ave.  Agora’s massive footprint, copious parking, and out-of-place architecture raised questions about what the concept would be really be.  “Is it a strip club?” was an all-to-common refrain.

Turns out it really was just a sports bar, albeit one out of place in downtown Austin’s burgeoning Rainey Street neighborhood.

Perhaps the final blow to the struggling venue was last month’s decision by the City of Austin Music Division to revoke Agora’s Outdoor Music Venue permit, after receiving too many noise complaints.

What’s next?  Our intel has it that the 18,000 sf CBD-zoned site is now for sale.

Agora OMV permit was revoked in December (pdf)

 

 

87 Rainey Street Downtown Austin Update: NO VA (not NOVA) to Open End of 2012 (Hopefully).

87 Rainey Street Downtown Austin Update: NO VA (not NOVA) to Open End of 2012 (Hopefully).

UPDATE 8/31/2013: No Va is OPEN for Business!  Check out pics and my review HERE.

UPDATE 7/1/2013: Just got a note from Brad Sorenson with an update on what is going on with NO VA

Things are getting really close now. Construction is pretty close to complete with inspections taking place and little odds and ends being finished. I have started hiring for the kitchen and we should be training with in a couple weeks. I don’t want to make a guess on when an opening date will be until we have set it in stone on our end.

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Remember that mega post I did on what’s happening on Rainey Street?  In the post, I talked about 87 Rainey Street located in the Rainey Street District of Downtown Austin, and how I had not heard any updates on just what exactly was going on in that space.  Well, that must have hit Brad Sorenson‘s (the head chef of the new concept, perhaps more widely known for his stint on The Next Food Network’s Star) Google Alerts, because he promptly posted a comment on the Blog saying things were still a go for the restaurant concept.

Which was great, but I wanted more info – so I emailed him and asked if we could meet.  I was actually very surprised when he said okay.

So we met.  Last week.  And, let me just say this – the guy OOZES affability. He’s also real, real tall.

I was absolutely charmed, I will admit – but not only by him as a person, but also by what he told me about NO VA.

First off, NO VA is the name (there’s a space in between “O” and “V”, 2 words), not NOVA, as it’s previously been reported.  There’s actually a cute little story behind the name, too, Brad tells me.  “No va” is what the owner of the business said when he looked at the house at 87 Rainey Street when he initially purchased it, in late 2009.  He said “No va”, because, at the time, [Read more…]

Partying for a Cause – Ghoulwill Ball at The W Tomorrow Night

Partying for a Cause – Ghoulwill Ball at The W Tomorrow Night

I have been honored to have served on the host committee for Goodwill Industries of Central Texas’ 2012 Ghoulwill Ball event, being held at The W Hotel in downtown Austin tomorrow evening. Helping promote a very worthy cause (GICT’s mission is to generate lifelong connections to work) has been rewarding.  All proceeds of this event will go to GICT.  Free food, free drinks, a killer DJ, at one of the swankiest downtown hot-spots, AND you get to dress up in a Halloween costume.  I couldn’t think of a better time!

And, if you live in The Residences at The W – you can literally just stumble home after the party.

Buy your tickets here.

The Rainey Street Rundown: A MEGA Post of (Almost) Everything That’s Happening in the Rainey District

The Rainey Street Rundown: A MEGA Post of (Almost) Everything That’s Happening in the Rainey District

The Rainey Street District in downtown Austin has been a hotbed of activity lately, from new apartment high rises, to an influx of new bars – things are really happening in Rainey.  So, we thought it helpful to put together a property-by-property guide about all that’s going on.  Everything we know about Rainey Street to date [mostly] in one place – this post!

This picture of the Rainey Street has each lot numbered with its numerical address. Look below to the corresponding number to see the skinny on the lot.

51 Rainey Street, Austin (address not shown on map, across from the Milago Condos), Austin Skyhouse apartments

The ABJ reported on the imminent ground-breaking of the Austin Skyhouse Apartments last month.  Being built by Novare-Andrews Urban, the same group behind the successful 360 condos, the 20,000 feet of ground floor retail is rumored to include a Royal Blue Grocery.

[Read more…]