Sandwiched between Bar 96 and Bungalow in the city’s trendy nightlife district is a bar that’s planting roots on Rainey Street for the second time.
Opening quietly on Wednesday night, Lustre Pearl, the Bridget Dunlap bar that started it all, reintroduced itself to the neighborhood sparking nostalgia for anyone who walked through its original doors. She’s still the same gal we came to love, just dressed up in a brand-new outfit.
Touches of the old Lustre Pearl can be found throughout: exposed wood, pops of turquoise, and dusty vintage decor. Francisco Arredondo of North Arrow Studio designed the space — this time to more closely match the aesthetics that Rainey Street as a whole has taken on. But the real stunner of the new Lustre is the rooftop patio and bar, which boasts a fantastic view of the downtown Austin skyline.
The backyard’s red fence, emblazoned with the familiar phrase, “Welcome home,” hula-hoops, and a soon-to-come pingpong table harken back to the old days of Lustre Pearl. The immediately recognizable iron fence has also been put back in. The one thing missing is the iconic house, which will remain at Lustre Pearl's second location off East Cesar Chavez Street.
As with anything in Austin, permitting caused some delays, but the Dunlap ATX group was eager to re-open its first Austin baby. While finishing touches are still being made, in the near future you can expect large TVs for sports watching and movie nights, as well as a food truck.
It's a strange feeling sitting on the new front porch, looking at where the old Lustre Pearl used to live and seeing the condos that replaced it still under construction. After having success in a similar neighborhood in Houston, Dunlap opened the original Lustre Pearl on a street that, at the time, people thought was a crazy location. But once Lustre Pearl parked itself on the corner of Rainey and Driskill streets, the block exploded into the bustling district it is today.
Lustre Pearl is open Monday through Thursday from 4 pm to 2 am, Friday through Sunday from noon to 2 am.