After a brief stint on East Riverside Drive and a nearly two-year absence, Antone's has announced an opening date for its downtown location. Come New Year's Eve, the 40-year-old Austin institution will host a concert in its new home at 305 E. Fifth St.
The space occupies two levels and features more than 5,800 square feet per floor. The ground floor will house the nightclub, retail space, and gift shop. Above the 400-capacity venue will be a green room, offices, and additional event space.
To celebrate the opening, Antone's is hosting a special New Year's Eve party to ring in a new era for the Austin icon. C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band will headline the show, a fitting choice as Chenier's father, Clifton, was the headliner when Antone's opened in 1975. Other big names on the lineup include Marcia Ball, Lou Ann Barton, Derek O'Brien, Denny Freeman, Sarah Brown, and more.
"We are so thrilled to bring Antone's back to the heart of downtown Austin where it all started and it's so special to have C.J. reopen the club, it really couldn't be anymore perfect," said Susan Antone in a release.
Antone's was started by the late Clifford Antone (who passed away in 2006) and was originally housed on Sixth Street. What began as a blues bar featuring the likes of Muddy Waters and B.B. King — and launching the career of Stevie Ray Vaughan — evolved to include a wide range of musical genres. Since its beginnings, the nightclub has relocated from Sixth Street to Anderson Lane, The Drag, East Fifth Street, and East Riverside Drive. Now, after 40 years of operation and a two-year absence, Antone's triumphantly returns to the downtown area for its sixth incarnation.
The process of moving began over two years ago when Antone's was purchased by geneticist Dr. Spencer Wells. In addition to investor Alex Shoghi and longtime partner Susan Antone, the team joined forces in 2014 with musician Gary Clark Jr. and Will Bridges, co-owner of Arlyn Studios, Lamberts, and Deep Eddy Cabaret.
"This project has been no easy task and it has taken a huge team effort from everyone involved. We couldn't have done it without all the amazing support from our Antone's family and the Austin music community. We are excited to finally show off the new club and we hope everyone will find it was worth the wait," said Bridges.
Antone's will host an official grand opening celebration later this year, but an exact date has yet to be announced. For those planning to celebrate New Year's Eve at Antone's, tickets will be available day-of beginning at 5 pm for $20 each (cash and in-person only).