Farewell to Lanai

Popular downtown Austin rooftop bar announces sudden closure

Popular downtown rooftop bar announces sudden closure

Lanai Austin rooftop
Lanai will shutter on March 29. Photo courtesy of Lanai

After seven years on Congress Avenue, nightclub Lanai will shut its doors this weekend. The rooftop bar will close Sunday, although a specific reason has not been announced. To honor those patrons who made it a regular hangout over the years, Lanai is hosting a weekend-long celebration.

"It has been an honor and a privilege to host such an amazing group of hardworking local DJs that have poured their hearts and souls into the music," reads the Facebook event page. "While what we have always done may not have been the popular choice, it was a choice we would have made a million times over and couldn't have asked for a better group to navigate us through this journey."

News of Lanai's closing has renewed speculation of a strip club opening in the same building. CultureMap reported in February that property owner Behzad Bahrami submitted an application for an adult-oriented business at 422 Congress Ave., the same building where Lanai is housed. The convenient Congress Avenue location is also home to Shiner's Saloon, The Geisha Room and Envy.

In response to the public's concerns about a strip club in the heart of downtown (and near the Mexic-Arte Museum and The Contemporary Austin), the City of Austin is attempting to change the ordinance that dictates zoning and requirements for adult-oriented businesses.

The current code states that a such a business cannot be located within "1,000 feet of a church, school, public park, public playground, licensed daycare or a lot where another adult-oriented business is located." The new proposal would expand to include public libraries and museums.