About Architecture: April 19, 2002
By Ken Lieck
Our Ears Are Burning, Love
[...] Once in a while, The National Enquirer will phone me about
some local celebrity sighting, but this is the first time I've
ever "inspired" a story in the tabloid! A feature in the current
issue, "Courtney Love Flies Out of Control," notes that "Courtney
was in Texas to give a speech at [SXSW] and was put up at the
luxurious Four Seasons Hotel. But despite the celebrity treatment,
things got off to a bad start and then got worse. When Courtney
arrived in town there was an inflammatory story about her in the
local press and it totally enraged her." Hey, all I did was recount
my meeting with her at Emo's after a Lollapalooza show! The tab
goes on to attribute my comments with setting the ball rolling
that led to her spending 20 minutes locked in the men's room at
the Hole in the Wall. It credits that night's excesses
with her resultant fuzzy speech at her SXSW interview, as well
as the prize moment when upon leaving Austin, she "passed out
during a flight to Dallas, Texas, and was so out of it when her
jet landed, she needed a wheelchair to get off the plane!" [...]
To Read the Enquirer
Article Click Here
About Architecture: A Hole Lot of Trouble
By Ken Lieck
[...] Is the Hole in the Wall next? Fact is, it could be, since
Knight Real Estate, the company that owns the building, has set
its sights on selling the entire lot where the Hole has resided
lo these 20-some years. The going price, for anyone interested,
is $972,000, but for that price you get the Hole property, including
the Aztec Screen Printing building behind the club, the parking
lot, etc. Unfortunately for prospective buyers (and fortunately
for the Hole), the club's co-owner Mike White says that according
to his research, when you consider the poor shape of the buildings
on the lot, there are many far better places in Austin for a Starbucks
(for instance) to want to jump in. During the boom, that didn't
seem to matter, but currently, it may make a huge difference.
"We'd love to raise the money to purchase it," says partner Debbie
Rombach, "however, in the event we must relocate, we'll need to
raise the money for that as well." She adds that the owners "always
said if anyone came up and was interested, they'd sell" the property,
but Knight's erecting a large "For Sale" sign on the building
on Nov. 16 indicates that the company has taken a distinctly more
serious interest in unloading the property. There's a Greezy Wheels
reunion coming up on Dec. 14 to benefit the club, as well as an
entire week of "Help Us Raise a Million Bucks" gigs planned for
mid-January, but those alone, needless to say, aren't likely to
bring in anywhere close to $972,000. "We're just going on a day
to day basis -- that's all we can do," says White, though month-to-month
might be a more accurate term, as the Hole's latest six-month
lease expires in January and is likely to only be renewed one
month at a time from now on.
Texan: Drag institutions deal with changes, challenges
By Patrick Badgley (Daily Texan Staff)
December 10, 2001 - Mike White, accountant and business manager
of Hole in the Wall on the Drag, says a purchase of the restaurant
and bar could mean a hole in Austin.
White's fear of someone buying the restaurant and the lot on
which it sits stems from a Knight Real Estate sign on the building
giving the real estate company's phone number for those seeking
information on purchasing the property.
"Austin in general will lose something that's been here since
'74," White said, later adding, "We have an eclectic crowd and
a lot of music."
The going price for the lot is $972,000, which White says is
probably too high for the somewhat run-down building. He estimated
the actual cost to be not much more than a half-million dollars.
"I personally think it will be too high a price - unless Starbucks
decides they need another location down here," White said.
Jamie Knight, an associate at Knight Real Estate, said while
some parties have called about the property, there have not yet
been any sustained cases of interest. He said people with several
different interests in the property have called, including retailers
and real estate investors who are interested in the location of
Still, he said that based on his research, the lot is worth "somewhere
in that neighborhood."
"The building is definitely not in prime-time condition," Knight
said. "It's got great location."
Knight also said the $972,000 asking price is "just that," meaning
the price for which the lot could be sold is not set.
White said the restaurant is planning to hold a fund-raiser from
Jan.13 to Jan. 19, called "Keep a whole lot of the Hole," that
would showcase several musicians who have played at the Hole in
years past. The money would go toward paying for the building
or saving up for a new location if the bar would have to move.
"We're looking around, but moving a place that's been here for
30 years is really hard," White said.
White also said some who frequent the bar have talked about helping
out in some way.
Whatever the case, White guessed that the place would most likely
stay put at least until June. The Hole's new six-month lease,
he said, will begin in January if no one swoops in to cut a deal
and buy the property before then. [...]
Chronicle: Live Music Venue Guide:
By Christopher Hess
The Hole in the Wall has always been here and isn't going anywhere.
It's a classic wood-paneled storefront dive, fixed at the upper
reaches of the Drag at 26th and Guadalupe, that has provided grounds
fit for stomping to some of Austin's greatest musical acts --
from singer-songwriters to punk rockers. This live music venue,
in the same way as Antone's and the Broken Spoke, is a keystone
in the foundation of the Austin music scene.
The Hole has been around since the summer of 1974, and just this
past August was bought by longtime employee and talent buyer Debbie
Rombach. The main room is small, dispersing about half the building's
194-person capacity between barstools, tables, and much scattered
standing room. Considering the bands that regularly play the Hole
-- bands like the Pocket FishRmen, Bigfoot Chester, Slobberbone,
and the Orange Mothers -- the main room is also loud. There's
a back room full of pool tables and video games that offers some
respite if the noise or the crowd gets too thick, but you've paid
your $3, and you're there to rock, so the best plan is to stake
out your space and hang on to it for the duration.
In addition to the shows scheduled from week to week, a couple
of regular Hole in the Wall gigs are fast becoming local institutions
in themselves. On Sunday nights, the Rock & Roll Free-for-All
-- so called because there's never a cover -- offers a rotating
lineup of anywhere from four to eight local bands. Superego, mainstay
of the lineup and musical vehicle for event organizer Paul Minor,
lays claim to one of the most solid weekly gigs in Austin as Free-for-All
headliners. For those with hangovers from the night previous,
Mondays at the Hole feature "Unplug This," an acoustic forum for
local musicians to strut their stuff in a quieter setting.
What makes the Hole home for so many fans of live music is the
same thing that makes it home (in a more consistent sense) for
the droves of regulars who occupy the barstools most of the day
and well into the night; it's a comfortable, friendly joint where
you can say what you want and drink what you want and hear some
good conversation and great music for a small amount of dough.
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