There were plenty of tears shed into beers when Lustre Pearl, the little bar that turned sleepy Rainey Street into an nightlife destination, shuttered its doors on March 30 to make way for condos.
But since bidding farewell to the old location with a crawfish boil — and a performance by owner Bridget Dunlap as Stevie Nicks — plans have been underway to bring the Pearl of Rainey Street back with not one, but two new locations.
According to Eater Austin, Dunlap has plans to open a new Lustre Pearl at 94 Rainey St., across from the original location and next door to Bar 96, which is part of the family of bars and restaurants under the Dunlap ATX umbrella. Furthermore, the "Queen of Rainey Street" says plans are underway to move the original Lustre Pearl to East Austin, noting that the team is still in the process of finalizing a lease.
Owner Bridget Dunlap says she's not setting a definite opening date, but hopes to have both locations open in time for SXSW 2015.
So how can Dunlap reopen the original Lustre Pearl in a completely different neighborhood? The bar's official Facebook page offers a look at the process of deconstructing the original bungalow before it's transferred to the new location.
In an interview with CultureMap, Dunlap says she's not setting a definite opening date, but hopes to have both locations open in time for SXSW 2015.
As for names, Dunlap says that also hasn't been finalized. "94 Rainey St. will definitely be called 'Lustre Pearl,' but as for East Austin I've gone everywhere from 'Lustre Pearl East' to 'Ophelia Blue.'" Ophelia Blue, we should note, is a name Dunlap also mentioned in conjunction with her second restaurant project, a yet-to-open Italian restaurant slated for East Sixth Street.
And why dpes she want to save the old house on Rainey? Dunlap tells CultureMap that it's hard to explain.
"I just have a real love for that house. I've tried to talk myself out of it before and I've walked away from other businesses before, but that place just gets to me. It was built in 1895 and the developers will just take it down," she says.
"We could become homogenous like Houston, but it's now a vicious cycle. What you start quietly will become the next big thing and you become the victim of your own success. I know that change is inevitable and that I don't own that street, but I at least think that we should keep what we can."