Dive down

Saying goodbye to Lovejoys Taproom: Downtown's beloved dive to close

Saying goodbye to Lovejoys Taproom: Downtown's beloved dive to close

austin photo set: news_july_lovejoys

There's a lot about Sixth Street — shot bars, bachelorettes, fake IDs — that the past-their-prime night owl can rightfully despise. But in a stretch of downtown that is overrun with themed bars and well drinks, there are a few hole-in-the-wall gems that have withstood the test of time, bringing a little edge — a little Old Austin — to an otherwise washed out scene.

 Lovejoys' shuttering is a sign of the ever-changing tide of downtown Austin, and a knife to the chest for purists who've ponied up to its bar for beers, smokes and punk rock tunes for the past two decades. 

Tucked behind the blur of crowded streets and club music sits Lovejoys Taproom, a just-off-Sixth establishment with an eighteen-year legacy that in early August will be only a memory. Rumors of the dive's closing have been circulating, and Sunday evening, owner Eric Wolf confirmed the inevitable shuttering on Facebook.

"It is with great sadness and regret that I bring you the news that Lovejoys will be forced to close next month. After struggling for the last few years with rising costs and decreasing revenues, we can no longer afford to keep the doors open at 604 Neches."

Lovejoys' shuttering is a sign of the ever-changing tide of downtown Austin, and a knife to the chest for purists who've ponied up to its bar for beers, smokes and punk rock tunes for the past two decades.

"Well, there you go... downtown's only worthy watering hole is closing... will the last patron be sure to turn out the lights down there," responded Buckley D. Wineholt.

Just because Lovejoys is leaving its place of origin doesn't mean its spirit is gone. "The soul of Lovejoys is bigger than just a building and I am confident that we will resurface in some fashion at some point," Wolf wrote on Facebook.

He plans to take some time to plot his next move, but presented preliminary options of a new, neighborhood location with parking and outdoor space (we think North Loop or Burnet Road could use another working man's dive).

Lovejoys will serve its final home-brewed beers on Sunday, August 5, essentially marking the end of an era for a less transient Austin population of industry workers and beer lovers who became friends inside the pub's dark walls.

If it's anything like the closing of other old guard establishments (like Showdown's last night in May 2009), you should expect one big celebration at Lovejoys. And Sixth Street should expect an older than normal, more jaded than average, demographic, if only for one night.