First Look at Grizzly Hall

An exclusive first look at Austin’s newest music venue, Grizzly Hall

An exclusive first look at Austin’s newest music venue, Grizzly Hall

Grizzly Hall
Grizzly Hall is a new music and events space on East Riverside Drive. Photo by Daniel Cavazos
Grizzly Hall
Wood accents, floors, ceilings, and carvings dominate the rustic venue. Photo by Daniel Cavazos
Grizzly Hall Jason Sabala
Jason Sabala of Buzz Mill is the owner and founder of Grizzly Hall. Photo by Daniel Cavazos
Grizzly Hall
Expect unique and interactive programming similar to Buzz Mill's events, but with more of a music focus. Photo by Daniel Cavazos
Grizzly Hall
A newly redone bar, state-of-the-art sound system, and updated lounge areas add to the appeal. Photo by Daniel Cavazos
Grizzly Hall
Taxidermy and reclaimed wood conjure memories of hunting and fishing trips — accompanied by good music, of course. Photo by Daniel Cavazos
Grizzly Hall
The bee wallpaper is a nod to Buzz Mill and all the grizzlies who love honey. Photo by Daniel Cavazos
Grizzly Hall_Lumber Society poster
Those who are part of the Lumber Society, Sabala's social club of urban woodsmen, will find a second home at Grizzly Hall. Photo by Daniel Cavazos
Grizzly Hall
Grizzly Hall
Grizzly Hall Jason Sabala
Grizzly Hall
Grizzly Hall
Grizzly Hall
Grizzly Hall
Grizzly Hall_Lumber Society poster

Stepping into Grizzly Hall, a sense of nostalgia washes over. It’s not just the log cabin smell that makes us pine for our childhoods, but the ghosts of legends that have graced the space in years prior.

Grizzly Hall is East Austin’s newest music and events venue, taking over the former Midway Field House location on East Riverside Drive. In addition to Midway, which announced its shutter last week, the 4-year-old building has hosted Beauty Ballroom and Antone’s, neither of which lasted at this locale. However, with a new concept and a breath of fresh air, the folks behind Grizzly Hall plan to make the venue the hot destination it was originally envisioned to be. 

The team spearheading the transformation of Midway into Grizzly Hall includes Jason Sabala of Grizzly Discovery, the company that owns Buzz Mill, Bootleg Supply Co., and 1776 Cheesesteak Co.; Kevin Crutchfield, who will oversee operations; Kurt Fasse, the venue's "plant manager"; and Dave Curren, who will oversee sound operations. Sabala is also the founder of the Buzz Mill's famed Lumber Society.

With two stories of entertainment housed within 7,000 square feet, the multipurpose Grizzly Hall will offer private event rentals as well as live music, comedy, art exhibits, film events, and more. A new state-of-the-art sound system, full bar, and renovated lounge areas with pool tables and TVs are just some of the venue's updated amenities.

Wood carvings, reclaimed wood accents, and wood flooring dominate the lodge-like space reminiscent of Buzz Mill's design. Timber and taxidermy round out the "rustic cabin" vibe of the club.

“We are thrilled to bring a new high-quality events space to the Austin community, including our beloved yet underserved East Riverside and South Shore communities,” said Sabala in a release. “The Grizzly Hall team is excited to finally show off our new digs and kick off the festivities. We look forward to serving Austin’s music, comedy, and arts scenes for years to come.”

Grizzly Hall will open its doors Saturday, April 30. A grand opening party is scheduled for Saturday, May 28, featuring Oakland-based heavy metal headliner High on Fire with local openers Bridge Farmers and Eagle Claw. Grizzly's initial programming has been announced through the end of July. 

This marks one of several major Grizzly Discovery openings, with two new Buzz Mill locations opening on South Congress Avenue and in San Marcos in the near future.