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Austin Chronicle: June 24- 30, 1998: Dancing About Architecture: A Hole Lot Going On by Ken Lieck

There wasn't any particular instant Monday night at the Hole in the Wall that you could pick out as being the one to add to the list of extraordinary things that have happened at the quarter-century-old club, but the night itself has to go down in the books as one of those moments in time that are purely Austin - and purely Hole in the Wall. Things started turning wild during Mike McCoy's raw solo set, kicking off his relocation from Kansas City to Austin and precursing his reformation of Cher UK using local talent, and then Amberjack Rice took the stage for a performance that engaged the entire club, not to mention those standing on the street outside. An already wound-up crowd of regulars got increasingly rowdy as a former waitress at the club mounted the stage and forgot she wasn't at the Crazy Lady. Increasingly loud screaming and profanities threatened to drown out Rice, who is by no means a quiet balladeer, and much adult beverage was consumed or spilled before some fellow walked in off the street and began stealing drinks off the bar. Unfortunately for him, sitting at the bar was the club's owner Doug Cugini, and a confrontation between the two escalated until the thief pushed Cugini into the street and started swinging at him. After a discussion that I imagine contained some variation of, "I own this place and you're in big trouble" and "Oh, yeah? What are you gonna do about it?" Cugini literally waved his hand, and three police cars appeared out of nowhere to deal with the miscreant. The cops were even kind enough to position the man just outside the window behind the stage as they questioned him, adding further to the surreality of the show as Rice, clearly shell-shocked by this time, played on, accompanied by the red-and-blue light show. Yep, it was a night that was typical at the Hole, one of those places that seems frozen in time, unaffected by the influx of yuppies, suburbanites, and other "thems" into our fair city. The good news is that it appears that such good days are likely to continue long into the future. Though details have yet to be worked out, Cugini has decided that despite his affection for the club, it's time for him to sell the business, and negotiating to purchase it is none other than 20-year employee Debbie Rombach (whom you probably thought owned the place anyway). Here's to the next quarter century! [...]

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