Antone's is finally returning to downtown Austin. After a brief stint on East Riverside Drive and a year of homelessness, Antone's announced on March 3 that it will be returning downtown to 305 E. Fifth St. in the former Maxey Glass building next to Eddie V's Prime Seafood & Steaks.
The latest spot breathes new life into the old Austin venue. Since the lease expired at the Riverside locale at the end of 2013, the Antone's team has been searching for a permanent home. "I couldn’t be more excited with Antone's moving back into central downtown, which is the heart of our live music district here in Austin," said partial Antone's owner Gary Clark Jr. in a press release.
The new space occupies two levels and features more than 5,800 square feet per floor. On the ground floor will be the nightclub, retail space and gift shop. Above the venue will be a green room, offices and additional event space. To complement the new digs, neon artist Evan Voyles is working on a vintage-inspired recreation of the venue's classic sign and marquee.
The process of moving began over a year ago when Antone's was purchased by geneticist Dr. Spencer Wells. In addition to investor Alex Shoghi and longtime partner Susan Antone, the team joined forces in 2014 with Clark and Will Bridges, co-owner of Arlyn Studios, Lamberts and Deep Eddy Cabaret.
Antone's was started by the late Clifford Antone (who passed away in 2006) and was originally housed on Sixth Street. What began as a blues bar featuring the likes of Muddy Waters and B.B. King — as well as launching the career of Stevie Ray Vaughan — eventually evolved to include a wide range of musical genres. Since its Sixth Street beginnings, the nightclub has relocated to Anderson Lane, The Drag, East Fifth Street and East Riverside Drive. Now, after four decades of operation and a year's worth of anticipation, Antone's triumphantly returns to the downtown area for its fifth incarnation.
"I am very happy that Antone's will open this year," said Susan Antone in the release. "It's in the neighborhood where Clifford opened the original Antone's. He would love this place."
A grand opening date for the new location has not been announced yet, but the Antone's team says it hopes to open the doors sometime in 2015.