The Live Music Capital of the World has taken another hit with the shuttering of honky-tonk Rattle Inn earlier in April. The multilevel bar was one of the few spots in Austin to regularly program country music and one of only bars in the West Sixth Street district to offer live music at all.
The owners of the bar, FBR Management, did not offer an exact reason for the closure, instead issuing the following statement: "It's been a wonderful eight years and with all that's on the horizon for FBR this year, we are committed to focusing on our other projects throughout Austin." It’s unclear exactly on what day the decision was made, and an attempt to clarify with the company went unanswered. Unnamed sources, however, told the Austin Chronicle that staff was laid off on April 16.
In an email to CultureMap, FBR said that it did offer "a severance package to salaried employees and [they] are currently working to reestablish the remaining full time employees with positions in [their] other bars."
Rattle Inn opened at 610 Nueces St. in December 2011 as a joint project between FBR’s Matt Luckie; Ranch 616 chef and owner Kevin Williamson; and Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson, whose memorabilia provide much of the stage area’s decor. Although the venue offered live music three days a week, the huge space may be more familiar to many Austinites as a popular space for corporate parties and special events.
FBR management is still operating several local bars, including two locations of Lavaca Street Bar, as well as Star Bar, Mean Eyed Cat, The Wheel, and Lala’s Little Nugget. Luckie, along with FBR’s Max Moreland and Mike Joyce, is also opening Stagger Lee on Rainey Street as a separate venture.