Thursday, January 24, 2008

Rio Rita in East Austin on Sixth Street

Rio Rita has been there forever but nobody wanted to go there when it was a very segregated crowd in a part of the city that was ignored for decades because poor people lived there. The University was the first to push their way into East Austin because they had nowhere else to go. They over reached and have been making East Austin a better place ever since, because of it. They are truly the best neighbor that East Austin will ever have and having said that I would also like to say that East Austin is the new South Austin. West Austin and North Austin have lots of stuff, like rich peoples stuff and poor peoples stuff, but South Austin has heart and East Austin has soul. I don't want to see old East Austin go away, I just want to see it finally become an intregal part of Austin as a whole. East Austin pioneers like The Manor Road Coffeehouse, with a bigger than life naked lady painted on their huge picture window, helped pave the way. The University of Texas Physical Plant was right across the street but most people were afraid to go in there because of the tattoos and piercings. I loved it. Then they went broke and it became Gaby and Mo's, a lesbian owned coffeehouse with many beautiful lesbian girls working there and many tattoos and piercings, again. That worked for a couple of years but they never made any money. Then came Sacred Cup Coffeehouse and the place moved up a notch or two. Things looked very promising but within a couple of years, rising rent and under capitalization did them in. All of these attempts were young people pouring their heart and soul, and what little money they could scrape up, into the business. Now it is a very prosperous Mexican Restaurant called El Chile. They had the bucks and that is what it takes to make things work. Back to Rio Rita, they are owned by the people who own Beerland on Red River and they are also pioneers, but they owe props to Cafe Mundi and Manor Road Coffeehouse for helping to break down the barriers that kept East Austin the redheaded stepchild of the city for so long. I'm going back to this place and I highly recommend it for those with a sense of adventure. It's like hospital room style living rooms in half of the place. They have about a semi truck load of strange furniture in this place and it is all pretty comfortable.

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