“The Hole in the Wall” has always been appropriately named.
An Austin institution for the better part of forty years, it is where the likes of Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith and Lucinda Williams once stood on the cornered stage that backs up to the Drag. Where countless University of Texas students grabbed a beer or greasy burger between classes. Where barflys watched the Astros or the Rangers lose games on a TV mounted in the other corner, then stuck around to either heckle or ignore the bands. Two Nice Girls recorded the crowd noise for their cult classic “I Spent My Last $10 (On Birth Control and Beer)” there. And I spent much of the ’90s there, first as a UT grad student (it was at the Hole in the Wall that one of my professors hit on me–I think), and then as a music fan and journalist. I also met my future wife there, which is why our wedding party happened at the Hole during SXSW 2005. We put down a few bucks for an open bar, and ordered pizza.
If we ever have an anniversary bash, there won’t be any pizza. This past Tuesday marked the birth of a new Hole in the Wall, without changing the old one.
At 9:30 p.m., even as a band sets up in front of seven people at the bar and four more at the tables, the adjacent beer garden and far back room are bustling, with fifty to one hundred people spread out among the picnic benches, indoor booths, pinball machines and foosball table, with a