AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Mean Eyed Cat bar — like Donn’s Depot and El Arroyo adjacent — is a adamant antique of Austin’s adolescent days, back a bar in an old alternation saw boutique on West Fifth Artery wouldn’t accept ashore out.
On a artery now bedeviled by high-rise condos and mixed-use developments, the Mean Eyed Cat, with music memorabilia bottleneck every apparent and “Johnny” and “June” anecdotic the bathrooms, charcoal a accolade to the aboriginal owner’s admired Johnny Cash. But Chris Marsh, who assertive developers not to breach bottomward the celebrated architecture in the aboriginal 2000s, no best owns it. He awash it in 2013, analysis West Fifth’s transformation “into a albino district.”
Since then, he’s begin article new that lets him both assignment abaft the bar and advertise his adulation of old-school country music, as Mean Eyed Cat already did. Hello Trouble Anteroom is a 9-month-old project, a traveling bank and adaptable bar that Marsh said is ambrosial because it can accompany the affair to you.
He got the abstraction from traveling carnivals, which are so accessible to backpack up and move admitting their size.
“What if I congenital absolutely what I capital on a huge trailer, and I can backpack aggregate into it and move assimilate the aing location?” he tells the Austin American-Statesman. “It’s a bartending service, a affair area and a honky-tonk, annihilation you appetite it to be at anywhere you anticipate you can bandy a party.”
Although business for Hello Trouble Anteroom “could be better,” Marsh said he is optimistic. He sees his 20-feet long, 8-feet advanced bivouac — which he sets up with cord lights and tables alfresco of it, alms added amplitude — as absolution in allegory to the brick-and-mortar responsibilities of a bar like Mean Eyed Cat. The party-goers who hire it out charge alone to accommodate the alcohol; he has the rest, alike the ice, the mixers and the cups, as able-bodied as a brace of surprises.
“I accept a covering on the alfresco so you can accept your name or your affair out there,” he said. “I absolutely acrylic it assimilate the building. It makes the chump feel like, ‘That anteroom is abundance tonight.’ It’s been hasty how important that is to them.”
Hello Trouble Anteroom — called afterwards a country song covered by Buck Owens, addition admired artisan of Marsh’s — is decked out, abundant like Mean Eyed Cat, in the music memorabilia that Marsh has calm over the years. This time, though, it’s themed added about 1970s archetypal country, rather than the hardly earlier Cash era.
The exoteric is analogously a accolade to Owens: “I corrective it dejected on the bottom, white in the average and red on the top, like his guitar,” he said.
He recognizes that his bar on auto can be a little adamantine to imagine, but the 48-year-old administrator can acrylic a active account of it. Inside the trailer, he said, alone about 15 bodies can fit calmly — either continuing about or sitting on one of the scattering of asperous confined stools in advanced of the baby board bar at the centermost of the room.
A bartender, best acceptable Marsh, cutting a Western cord tie, breeze shirt and jeans, prepares the drinks, such as the beers that get caked from a best 1949 jockey box outfitted with two taps. But adore the booze outside, area there will be a lot added allowance to adhere out and relax beneath the red, white and dejected cord lights. (Owens “was all about the red, white and blue, and I aloof adulation it,” Marsh said with a askew grin.)
If it’s preferred, the bivouac can additionally become a date for alive music. Marsh wants Hello Trouble Anteroom to be “all-purpose,” he said. “You can accept it be whatever you want; you aloof accept to use your imagination.”
Eventually, he hopes to abound Hello Trouble Anteroom into a full-time business and add addition adaptable bar to the blooming lot in the Hill Country area he keeps it.
“I appetite to body another, a juke joint,” he said.
Anyone who knows Marsh — who, afore his Mean Eyed Cat days, formed as a freelance music announcer for the American-Statesman and as one of the aboriginal agents at Maudie’s Cafe on Lake Austin Boulevard — has little agnosticism that he’ll accomplish both of these trailers a success. Marsh is persistent: Back he got wind that the baby afford area a alternation saw adjustment boutique had sat for years was activity to be broken bottomward for condos, he fought with developers to accumulate it.
“I begged them not to annihilate it,” he said. “I would breach in and architecture the blueprint for the bar I had in mind. And assuredly the owner, a chump of abundance at Maudie’s, agreed but said I had to hurry.”
And he did. Mean Eyed Cat bound became accepted and charcoal a above atom to grab a pint of beer, as able-bodied as the liquor and Stubb’s Barbecue that the new owners added three years ago. Admitting his affection for Hello Trouble Hall, Marsh still brand to appointment his old haunt.
“My claret burden goes bottomward back I airing in here, no amount what affectionate of day I’ve had,” he said.
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