Historic Victory Grill, 1104 E 11th, Austin, is a fantastic place with lots of history. Here’s a link to just one site. It opened in the 1940’s, hosting national and local blues musicians. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Johnny Holmes started selling burgers in 1942 from a stand on East 11th. After World War II, he moved into a cafe at the same address and named it Victory Grill. Blues musicians played on the front porch and he sold food and beer. In 1949 he expanded the business to provide returning African American soldiers with a place to find good food and entertainment. Because of Jim Crow and segregation African Americans were unable to play or enter bars and clubs on the west side of town. The Victory Grill filled the void for entertainment venues for the East Side.
Musicians such as T.D. Bell and Blues Boy Hubbard made 11st Street their home. One hallway is covered in record covers of black musicians.
The Grill not only honors musicians but features fantastic art inside and out.
We danced under the Halloween decorations spinning on the fans.
Seating is available in the front, but don’t miss a chance to go to the back room.
They host Open Mic Poetry Jam the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. Doors open at 8 p.m. Rhyme & Wine will be held there November 19th. Food served everyday.
Just outside the doors to the right is the location for the local Before I Die board. Write an item from your bucket list or just read what others have written.
Travel about half a block to the SE corner of 11th and Lydia and look up at one of the few remaining Moon Towers.
If you have ever seen the Zilker Park Christmas tree, you’ve seen one all dressed up without realizing it. Here’s a link to the Moon Towers and the really cool history.
A visit to the Victory Grill and surrounding neighborhoods gave me a deep sense of connection to the past and the present. We enjoyed the visit and dance here. Make this a place to visit. Even if you don’t dance, there’s history and art galore. My Before I Die wish is Harmony with and for everyone.