Monday, February 18, 2008

The Broken Spoke on South Lamar in Austin Texas

This world famous honky tonk has had more written about it than probably any other bar in the city of Austin. It was once out in the country but the city has expanded by ten miles in every direction since then. The entire bar and dancehall are like one big country and western museum, even though only a couple of small rooms are formally dedicated to that purpose. They have a shuffleboard and a couple of pool tables but the big draw is the music. On the weekends the place gets packed and they have early shows in the front room during the week. I can heartily recommend the chicken fried steak but you might want to think about a half order unless you can eat two huge slabs of meat. I can, and I have many times, but sometimes it's not that easy. Whether it is your first time in the place or you are a regular you can expect to be treated like an old friend they haven't seen in a while. The latest word is that they are going to build high rise residential housing with commercial property on the ground floor all around the Spoke and its caliche parking lot but leave it the way it is. I hope James White, the bar owner, has that in writing because we all know how good a developers word is. I believe the place is safe for now and I sure wouldn't want to be the person who gave the orders to tear it down, getting run out of town on a rail doesn't sound like much fun to me, but if you've never been in there this is a good time to change that. When you're talking about character, charm and musical history there is no better example anywhere than the last of the True Texas Dancehalls: The Broken Spoke.

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