An Austin legend has finally come home. On New Year's Eve, Antone's opened the doors of its new location at 305 E. Fifth St., an impressive space that breathes fresh life into the 40-year-old institution.
Antone's was started by the late Clifford Antone in 1975 (who passed away in 2006) and was originally housed on Sixth Street. Since its beginnings, the nightclub has relocated to Anderson Lane, The Drag, East Fifth Street, and East Riverside Drive. Now, after 40 years of operation and a two-year absence, Antone's triumphantly returns to downtown — just three blocks from the original Sixth Street locale.
Here is an exclusive first look at the venue's new home.
Made from 100-year-old longleaf pine, these repurposed wood doors greet guests to the legendary nightclub.
In addition to being a live music space, the new Antone's also serves as a monument to its storied history with incredible photography, a collection of paintings and guitars, and other gems from the club.
Antone's began as a blues bar that featured the likes of Muddy Waters and B.B. King — and launched the career of Stevie Ray Vaughan — but evolved to include a wide range of musical genres.
The 400-capacity venue is equipped with a top-of-the-line sound system.
The ground floor also features a retail space with gift shop. Once open, the upstairs level will have a green room, offices, and additional event space.
The renovation of the new location was helmed by Randall Owen and Charlie Melanson of hatch + ulland owen architects, as well as Rick McMinn of Image General Contracting.
The tin tile seen on the ceilings is authentic to the building, which was originally a Cadillac dealership in the 1920s.
The process of reinvigorating Antone's began over two years ago when the brand was purchased by geneticist Dr. Spencer Wells.
In addition to investor Alex Shoghi and longtime partner Susan Antone, the Antone's team includes musician Gary Clark Jr. and Will Bridges, co-owner of Arlyn Studios, Lamberts, and Deep Eddy Cabaret.
"This project has been no easy task, and it has taken a huge team effort from everyone involved. We couldn't have done it without all the amazing support from our Antone's family and the Austin music community," said Bridges in a statement.
Jimmie Vaughan, brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan (pictured), will perform at Antone's with his Tilt-a-Whirl Band on Friday, February 12.
"I am thrilled by how the initial calendar is shaping up," talent buyer Zach Ernst, who also books the Paramount Theatre, said in a statement.
"As we continue to fill dates at the club, I hope it’s clear that we're serious about keeping Clifford's dream alive."