Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Dee and Jim's Bar on South Congress near Ben White in Austin

There are very few truly neighborhood bars in the city of Austin and Dee's is one. Located in a worn down one story cinder block building next door to a NAPA car parts store on South Congress Avenue near St. Edwards University, Dee and Jim's Bar has been a family owned and operated, beer only, drinking establishment for the past twenty seven years. It is currently on the chopping block for an asking price of one million dollars and I'm sure they will get it. So far they have had a couple of offers from potential investors who want to keep it a bar. One guy wants to leave it just as it is while the other envisions leveling the place and building a shiny new two story joint with a deck on the roof and a full service bar. With a couple thousand yuppies moving in across the street in a few months I'm betting that the Dee and Jim's as we know it now, is a short timer. The place reminds me of old Austin, because it is. There are support poles that hold the roof up and the plywood floors, in the raised seating area towards the back sport a fairly recent coat of porch and deck enamel. The bar is stained plywood and I don't mean the fancy kind. Think recycled concrete forms and you'll be close. There is leatherette covered rail around the bar that is well padded and looks like it was designed to keep foreheads from making a direct hit with the plywood. One section of the padded rail is pretty much held together with black duct tape. I guess it's hard to keep from picking at things when you're sitting at a bar, bored and drunk. I've done it myself. The entertainment is an occasional musical act, although there is really not room for it, a couple of pool tables, a television and some high tech video deal that ate a dollar of mine before I could figure out how to play the game. Right now the place is decorated for Christmas with enough lights and ornaments for a hundred and fifty Christmas trees. It's old and it's funky but the beer is cold, the people are friendly and even though this was only the second time I have ever been inside, I know I'm going to miss it when it is gone.

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