Hole in the Wall fills up again
By Joe Gross AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Thursday, May 22, 2003 If a club reopens and no one's invited,
do the guitars make any noise? According to day manager Brooks Brannon,
the Hole in the Wall's word-of-mouth reopening last Friday night
was a low-key success, which was just how they wanted it.
"It was a good crowd," Brannon said Monday morning as the occasional
patron stopped by to check out the new digs, which -- save for an
opened ceiling that exposes some rafters -- looks pretty much like
the old digs.
General manager Matt Allen says the soft opening let hard-core
regulars enjoy a beer without a lot of hype. "There was a guy here
who was here opening night in 1974," Allen says. "That was great."
Almost a year after the legendary club on the Drag closed after
the building was put up for sale, the local Austin Pizza chain revived
the space, returning the 200-capacity venue to its original configuration.
Bands will play in the front, and the back room has been reserved
for pool tables, pinball and a jukebox. According to Allen, the
club is still "up in the air on food"; there's isn't any at the
moment. "There's a good chance that we're gonna be doing barbecue,
and it will be world class. I'd rather take it slow and do it right."
Allen, who says he plans to maintain the venue's long tradition
of booking roots music, says there will be a more formal opening
party in a few weeks. He's trying to book "one or two big names"
for the show, preferably "someone who has played here before and
knows the history of the place."
Hole founder Doug Cugini dropped by to wish everyone well, saying
he was "real happy" with the way things turned out. "(The new owners
and managers) have been respectful of the past, and want to continue
it as it was," Cugini says. "It's such a cool social oasis."
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