Why do dive bars capture our hearts so much? Historic Scoot Inn has tenaciously hung in there as one of the most popular dive bars in Austin. And now this east side venue has swept out the cobwebs with a facelift for its 145th birthday.
That’s right: this beloved East 4th Street location has served as some type of local business since 1871. While Historic Scoot Inn still possesses a tattered, endearing charm, it’s less tattered now. The owners just completed a remodel, gently nudging this East Austin icon into the modern era.
The remodel included tearing out the inside stage and skeeball machines. Owner Doug Guller of ATX Brands admits that he agonized over these choices. The venue isn’t getting out of the live music game, just moving the music to the outside stage. The inside is now a lounge area called Ivy’s Room, a nod to former owners.
The new decor screams “jazz club,” with black and red patterned wallpaper, a baby grand piano in the corner, and ample seating decked out in leather and velvet. The Tiffany-style stained glass lamps at the bar add to the speakeasy atmosphere with their subtle glow.
If you’re lucky, the pianist in Ivy’s Room will treat you to some standards on the baby grand. Or the bar may treat you to its 8-track tape collection. The quirky selection (country AND western) lends itself to the locked-in-time nature of the 8-track tapes. I’m surprised by how good those old tapes still sound.
Scoot Inn has added around 30 tables outside, where guests can relax with friends. The addition of a raised deck at the back of the patio allows for a fully-equipped outdoor bar. Several overhead tarps artfully strung together provide an essential Texas element, shade. The stage is shiny and ready for action, and the new outdoor restrooms are spacious, clean and air-conditioned. This updated patio is perfect for an afternoon hang out or a Sunday Funday adventure!
Live Music Events
Guller and ATX Brands know entertainment, as they also own Parish nightclub, Pelon’s Tex-Mex restaurant and other local venues. Scoot Inn’s live music calendar includes upcoming late night shows for ACL Fest, as well as October performances by The Naked and Famous, Yellowcard, The Dandy Warhols and Greensky Bluegrass. Obviously, Historic Scoot Inn will remain a fabulous venue for live music. The place is just nicer than before.
Food and Drink Specials
Scoot Inn held their grand reopening party on Sept. 22, 2016. For the time being, they’re still offering $1.45 Lone Star drafts to commemorate their anniversary. The bar also has the obligatory craft cocktail menu, and the drinks are tasty.
Guller explains that food trucks will be on a rotating schedule to provide a variety of options for patrons. The lineup currently includes Melted, Arlo’s, Garbo’s, Mighty Cone and East Side King. Now and for the foreseeable future, Historic Scoot Inn will host a different food truck each night of the week.
Come on Down to Historic Scoot Inn
The drinks may cost a bit more, the floor is no longer wonky and the bathrooms are aces. This may make Historic Scoot Inn less divey than before, but I hope Austinites breathe a collective sigh of relief that we haven’t lost this venerable institution. No matter how they paint it, polish it and otherwise pretty it up, the fact this groovy old building is still standing makes me happy. The overall feel of the place is still as cozy as a dive bar. The much-needed updates to the patio, inside bar and bathrooms give it a welcome touch of class.
1308 E. 4th St. – Website
@theAustinot wants to know:
What is the best Scoot Inn show you’ve ever attended?