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Daily Texan: December 10, 2001: Coming and going ... Drag institutions deal with changes, challenges By Patrick Badgley

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 the property.

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. [...]

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