Prohibition Ends! Celebrate Repeal Day, December 5th In Austin Texas In High Style

The great shame of a great state; you can’t choose who your sons and daughters may be. Perhaps this is why few people are aware of the fact that Carrie Nation was born in Kentucky.

It’s not something of which the Commonwealth is particularly proud. Though Prohibition did not begin until 1920, nearly ten years after Nation’s death, her role in the misbegotten temperance movement played a part in the puritans gaining national prominence and achieving a foothold that would eventually lead to alcohol being made illegal in America.

The “noble experiment” lasted from 1920 to 1933, made innumerable fortunes and shattered the lives of thousands of otherwise law abiding citizens.

Today, December 5th 2011 marks the anniversary of the end of this national charade. I’ve compiled a list of 5 places in Austin Texas where you can enjoy a tipple or two and reflect back on our nation’s storied past.

I’m normally a model of forbearance but occasionally  do enjoy a cocktail or a cold glass of cider. Here are a few places where, when I’m in the mood for a snoot, I like to relax for a bit and perhaps do a little wool gathering

1] Whip In. The long running beer and convenience store underwent a transformation a few years ago and put in a row of taps where you can avail yourself of a cold, draft beer. I like to drink a Live Oak Primus or Real Ale Lost Gold while pondering the events of the day. Their commendable kitchen  also puts a very respectable bowl of chili on table which would go down good on this cold and blustery day.

2] St. Roch’s. Over here in East Austin we’re experiencing a bit of a renaissance in our drinking establishments. St. Roch’s is from the man behind Nomad and Frontier Bar and offers much to the weary patron. Strong cocktails, Black Sabbath on the hi fi and cheap,local draft beer are the features of this little dive bar.

3] Royal Blue Grocery. An odd little bodega smack on Congress Avenue where you can buy a delicious Lagunitas at grocery store prices then avail yourself of a very nice sidewalk scene out front. Sure there are plenty hobos that are going to ask for a quarter or a cigarette but I feel so big city when I drink here.

4] El Agasajo. Way out on the East Side this is one of the last pure Tejano bars in a land that used to feature dozens of them. The men are all wearing ostrich skin boots,the ladies dolled up in skin tight dresses with skyscraper heels and the soundtrack runs towards Bronco and Los Tigres del Norte. I always have a good time at this bar.

5] Way up on Burnet Road sits Buddy’s Place, my favorite of the Austin honkytonks. Certain Austin old timers will remember it as Barbara’s as it’s been a favorite of the beer-y set for decades now. This is where Son Geezinslaw has a residency and is also a good place to catch Glenn Collins if you’re fortunate. Ice cold longnecks and an afternoon group of regulars with plenty time on their hands and plenty stories to tell make this a great place to celebrate repeal day.

Hoist a glass today Austin. December 5th 1933 marked the beginning of a new day in Texas and the rest of the country [ except Mississippi which held out til 1966 ].

1]Whip In

1950 South I H 35

Austin, TX


2]St. Roch’s

515 Pedernales

Austin, TX


3]Royal Blue Grocery

609 Congress Ave

Austin, Tx

4]El Agasajo

5005 E 5th St,

Austin, TX


5]Buddy’s Place

8619 Burnet Rd

Austin, TX







About RL Reeves Jr

I'm a writer living and working in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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