Sunday, January 6, 2008

Barton Springs Saloon on South Lamar in Austin

Soon one of two things is going to happen with the Barton Springs Saloon in Austin Texas. One, some land grabbing developer is going to buy up the corner for another high rise apartment building or two, they are going to see their business skyrocket into the stratosphere. Eight or nine years ago this place was an operating gas station, Texaco I think, but I'm probably wrong. You know, the things you see everyday on the commute to work just don't make much of an impression. One exception is what is going on in the immediate vicinity of this watering hole at the corner of South Lamar Blvd. and Barton Springs Road, here in South Austin. Within six months the condos two hundred yards away will be fully occupied. The high rise they started a hundred yards away is going up fast. The parking garage portion looks like it is moving right along. About a quarter of a mile away there are condos undergoing final touches on one side of the street and they are just beginning foundation work on what looks to be a huge residential development, of one sort or the other, on the opposite corner. Austin's downtown housing is becoming very plentiful, for those who can afford it, and the Barton Springs Saloon is going to be their neighborhood bar. You don't see that often, where the neighborhood materializes from nowhere to provide a customer base but it is happening to them. Right now, it is a no frills place although far from being a dump. I wish it had a little more character but those traits accrue over time. I remember reading once that the original proposed decorating concept was to hang anything on the wall that somebody gave them. Posters, signs, pictures, paintings, etc. That never happened but it is still a great idea, and the outside covered patio, where the pumps use to be, is a great place to hang out when the traffic dies down and the air isn't too full of exhaust fumes.

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