GAY AUSTIN September 1978
September 1978 GAY AUSTIN
A Gay Night on the Town
By SCOTT LIND
YOU FEEL that thirst. Something to slake it, to cool
it down. You're thirsty and restless. You want something to do. You've finished registering for classes,
or maybe you late registered, or maybe you completed
adds and drops, or it's the first night after class
and the thought of remaining at home and attacking
that Accounting textbook makes you . . . restless.
You're gay. You wouldn't want to be any other way.
Or you're a lesbian, and no straight frat guy's going to pull his macho power trip on you. To be like
the others, to emulate Silly Willy or Betty Baptist,
that isn't you. You have your own life to live, and
you're determined to make 1t good.
So you're restless. You want to meet people. What to
do, you ask, what to do. And the answer as if by magic comes to you.
But where, you might ask, where?
This article Is not, I assure you, some absurd Coke
commercial. Perhaps you've heard 1t on the radio, the
Sahara Desert and all that. No, I am not some disembodied voice trying to sell you some Coke. I do not
deal 1n that. Coke I am not downgrading. Far from it.
Coke certainly has its place, at parties and such.
But not here. To partake of this has little to do
with gayness or stralghtness. Coke is thus consigned
to the Sahara winds.
THIS ARTICLE will relate: 1) where to go and 2) what
to do once there. But first a word on Austin.
Back some years ago, six to be exact, I wished to
attend the exalted UT. Certain people warned me 1n
advance that all sorts of devilish evil things inhabited that fabled land: hippie longhairs puffing
weed, dealing all sorts of drugs. Card-carrying
communists fomenting demonstrations against Nixon
and a certain war. And most dreaded of all, monstrous
ho-mo-sexuals seducing every young innocent in sight;
these, I was told, I would have to watch out for because they came In various disguises. I took my informants' advice quite literally. I kept my eye out.
And like those people said, these homosexuals were
everywhere: marching to anti-Nixon demonstrations,
advocating socialism and even smoking weed at various locales while others stayed home and attacked
their Accounting textbooks. I discovered Barton
Springs and Hippie Hollow, and most Importantly,
found out that the Pearl Street Warehouse could be
found nowhere on Pearl Street.
Times have changed. Austin's gay bars now Include
the Hollywood, the Austin Country, the New Apartment,
the Private Cellar, and the Tap.
We shall take a quick journey to these bars. So, 1n
line with T.S. Elliot, "let us go and make our
Located at 304 W. 4th St., the Hollywood is the
place to go, particularly if you are a woman. It advertises itself as a women's bar, but if you are a
man you also are cordially welcomed. This disco bar
has plenty of room to dance and two levels of tables
to sit down and talk. It has all the atmosphere and
trimmings of a rustic, down home bar with all the
urban, but tastefully subdued, modernity of lights
and effect. A good sound system drums the disco beat,
but you never feel overwhelmed, unless you wish it.
DRESS IN your denims and feel at home drinking a
longneck, juice or gin-and-tonic at the bar, before
which looms a barback-to-celllng mirror that looks
as if it had been there since the old days. Potential friends left and right of you. The ceiling is
miles high and the spaces add to this feeling of
laid-back comfort. Take a look at photographs of
women as you enter. All you have to do 1s let the
mood carry you. It'll take you to good times. Or
play some pool at the corner of the bar.
The cover charge on weekend evenings is good, as
well, to you: 504 in these inflationary times is
a comforting thought. Sorry, But no Coors sold
here. Check this place out. It's on the up and up.
The Austin Country: Inside and
THE AUSTIN COUNTRY
The AC still reigns as Austin's most popular disco.
But it's more than that. Large and spacious it
definitely is with three main areas. One area comprises the dance floor; expect to writhe along with
the others surrounded by "sensurround sound", which
means amplified bass and big, big speakers. For your
enjoyment, check out the central bar area with brown
carpeted floors and an area of steps at one wall
with large pillows where you can flop after you have
tired yourself out dancing. A big-screen TV lies at
one corner of the pillows if you want diversion. A
large aquarium demarks its separation from the third
area reserved for pool freaks.
When I say "pool," I don't mean a swimming pool,
though that might be a good idea for later expansion.
Being a disco freak myself, I have thought more than
once of wishing to submerge myself in a pool so as
to return to the dance refreshed.
IF YOU DESCEND some stairs to the side of the dance
floor, you'll find yourself outside listening to the
twittering of birds in trees. Yeah, the patio's a
good place to cool off.
Cover charge has lately been increased to $1.00 six
nights a week (closed Monday), and $2.00 for after-
hours Friday and Saturday nights (2 - 4:00 a.m.).
Check this place out. I promise you you'll go back,
barring soneeconomic disaster. Drag shows Thursday
evenings. Free beer Wednesday nights from 10 -
11:00 p.m. Other specials, too. Oh yes, you'll find
It at the northeast corner of E. 7th St. and Red
THE NEW APARTMENT
Call it simply The Apartment, or attach the word
"New" to it, and you arrive at the same place. You
can find it at 29th and Rio Grande with a large, but
not always ample, parking lot. It looks like a house
with a fence fronting it (you go in through the back
way). At the red light, it's there, right across
from the Rome Inn. An eatery called the Lousiana
Purchase looks as if it were attached to the Apartment. No cover charge, and It's open from noon to
If you're into leather (Austin still doesn't have a
real leather bar yet), you can find like-minded and
suitably attired people here. Overall, the dress is
casual and fits with the dominant rough-hewn wood
motif of the walls.
THE 8AR HAS ample sitting space and you cannot Imagine friendlier people. The two pool tables in a
separate room are always hopping. In another room
sits a juke box for those who like country-western
or disco. Another room houses those who like playing cards, though I do wonder how anybody can see
whether they're holding a three of clubs or a king
of hearts In such darkness. If you want some of
that good ol' Austin air, just move to the back
pr should one say, the front?) patio with your
longneck or whatever you brought to drink.
Don't worry if y0U have trouble finding parking
space; you know what that means. You're destined
to pass your time here in good cheer. Cheers.
Check out happy hour 4 - 8:00 p.m. Check out
other specials too numerous to name.
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