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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."

[Original Article at
http://www.statesman.com/xlent/content/auto/epaper/editions/thursday/xlent_7.html ]

 

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