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Women of the Hole
The Regulars

KXAN-TV36 - The Hole Is Open

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It's perhaps the most celebrated college dive bar in Austin history, and it is back in business Friday night.

The Hole in the Wall closed a year ago amid fears that one more piece of old Austin was lost for good.

Same old sign, same dimly lit room, after one year in the hole, Austin landmark The Hole in the Wall is back in business.

"I was just cruising down the drag today and I looked up and see the open sign, and noticed the marquee had changed. And just pulled over and got out and came to see what was going on," bar regular Denny Mack said.

What's going on is just what has been going on here for the past 30 years. Beer, straight out of the can, or plastic cups if that's more your style.

Of course the very thing that has made the Hole famous - live music.

"Since we've reopened we've had tons and tons of people that really want to play here or have played here before and want to again. They're just glad to see it back open. It's another stage for them to be on," co-owner Clay McLaughlin said.

One by one, the regulars have returned to belly up to the bar only to find the very same bartender, pouring their drinks once again.

"I've had two of our female regulars come and tell me that they were in the bathroom and they started crying because they were so glad to be back at the Hole in the Wall," bartender and musician Brooks Brannon said.

"I was afraid that I was going to come in here and it was going to be all sterile, and they didn't change it that much which is good," Mack said.

It's enough to make anyone nostalgic, especially the Cugini family, who owned The Hole in the Wall for decades.

"We hired university students. Some of them have gone on to be lawyers, doctors, lots of professional people, and I guess a few of them are still waitresses," Billie Cugini, owner from 1974 to 1998, said.

"They just wanted their old stomping ground back. They just wanted their old bar stool back and get a cold beer again," McLaughlin said.

The Hole in the Wall celebrates its 30th Anniversary this month with free, live music seven nights a week. The regulars seem to agree The only things that have changed are a new roof, a new kitchen and a new bar-ba-que menu, which so far, is getting decent revues.

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