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No more Bear Bar?


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The Iron Bear, the storied Austin institution located at its current location since 2020 (yes, almost 3 years!) is threatened.  Its building is set to be demolished. Can the Austin Historic Landmark Commission save them?  Stay tuned!

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   The Iron Bear, an LGBTQ-friendly bar “for bears, by bears” that is open to all, is facing the prospect of relocating. A permit to demolish the bar’s West Sixth location is currently being reviewed by the city.

https://www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2022/03/west-sixth-streets-iron-bear-faces-demolition/

Edited by DalTxHornFan
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On 3/24/2022 at 6:16 PM, ONE YARD said:

that looks to be a cool building. home it’s saved.   we are destroying too much history as it is. 

History?  It’s been there since 2020 not 1920.  Players had history. Dirty Martins has history.

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1 hour ago, TKthunder2 said:

History?  It’s been there since 2020 not 1920.  Players had history. Dirty Martins has history.

ummm that building was not built in 2020. lol. what planet are you living on??

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Guest Lobo

Yes, it's an older building but the Iron Bear just moved in there a couple years ago.  They were in a generic looking building up on like 10th street that nobody gave a shit about.  If a longtime business has been in an older/established building for decades, that's worth a conversation to save.  You can't just move into an old building the year before it's up for re-development and claim "Sanctuary!"  For fuck's sakes...the place was almost turned into a Legal Seafood Chain.  Would they get the same outpouring of support?  Iron Bear will relocate as they have twice before and we'll have a Surly happy hour there.  

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The old location was near my office.  When the Obergefell decision (legalizing same sex marriage) came out, the Iron Bear announced a special happy hour celebration that afternoon -- all drinks, 50 cents.  A group of people (men and women) from our office went over there to toast the Constitution, and we each slapped $20 on the bar to open up a tab for the house, with another couple of $20s to tip the bartender.  The crowd drank on our nickel for a couple of hours -- lotta happy guys in there, it was fun celebrating with them.

None of them hit on me, because I am unattractive to the gays and straights alike.

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5 hours ago, Lobo said:

Yes, it's an older building but the Iron Bear just moved in there a couple years ago.  They were in a generic looking building up on like 10th street that nobody gave a shit about.  If a longtime business has been in an older/established building for decades, that's worth a conversation to save.  You can't just move into an old building the year before it's up for re-development and claim "Sanctuary!"  For fuck's sakes...the place was almost turned into a Legal Seafood Chain.  Would they get the same outpouring of support?  Iron Bear will relocate as they have twice before and we'll have a Surly happy hour there.  

preservation rarely gives a fuck about current business. it’s all about the structure. who cares about the bear. it’s the building that might get torn down. 

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Guest Lobo

That building really isn’t that special in the grand scheme of things.  I like it.  It’s a callback to old school downtown restaurant with bar up front, dining area in back from a bygone era.  But let’s be honest, I don’t know a single historical junkie or architect that has ever said word one about that building and I talk them weekly for work.  Let’s pick our battles, like you say, regardless of tenant.  This ain’t one. 

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1 hour ago, Lobo said:

That building really isn’t that special in the grand scheme of things.  I like it.  It’s a callback to old school downtown restaurant with bar up front, dining area in back from a bygone era.  But let’s be honest, I don’t know a single historical junkie or architect that has ever said word one about that building and I talk them weekly for work.  Let’s pick our battles, like you say, regardless of tenant.  This ain’t one. 

Sounds like something a dude who is totally a bear would say to throw people off his trail.

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3 hours ago, Lobo said:

That building really isn’t that special in the grand scheme of things.  I like it.  It’s a callback to old school downtown restaurant with bar up front, dining area in back from a bygone era.  But let’s be honest, I don’t know a single historical junkie or architect that has ever said word one about that building and I talk them weekly for work.  Let’s pick our battles, like you say, regardless of tenant.  This ain’t one. 

i agree somewhat.  i just hate that so many texas cities are losing their architectural character.   

oh well.  it’s just my personality. there is a reason i moved from austin to old town Galveston. 

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3 hours ago, Lobo said:

That building really isn’t that special in the grand scheme of things.  I like it.  It’s a callback to old school downtown restaurant with bar up front, dining area in back from a bygone era.  But let’s be honest, I don’t know a single historical junkie or architect that has ever said word one about that building and I talk them weekly for work.  Let’s pick our battles, like you say, regardless of tenant.  This ain’t one. 

Never put anything past the City of Austin machine.  They almost told the owner of the building occupied by the Vince Young Steakhouse to forget about redevelopment of the site:

Entrance-2_Vince-Young-Steakhouse_Full-Usage-Permissions-57b52d329cc7f20_57b52e93-bc69-dfbb-123e3722a10a2942.jpeg

https://austin.towers.net/is-downtowns-vince-young-steakhouse-building-historic-or-just-really-old/?pro=caitlyn@towers.net

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  • 1 month later...

Even the Iron Bear Bar owner doesn't want historic zoning for the building they moved into in 2020 with the understanding that the property was soon to be going vertical (not to mention that this possibility was acknowledged in a buyout provision in the lease):

Image

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23 hours ago, DalTxHornFan said:

Even the Iron Bear Bar owner doesn't want historic zoning for the building they moved into in 2020 with the understanding that the property was soon to be going vertical (not to mention that this possibility was acknowledged in a buyout provision in the lease):

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I think that is a really helpful letter, in terms of helping people understand the dynamics at work.  It sounds like the property owner ought to be rewarded for its conduct during the pandemic. 

If the City were to slap a historic designation on the building based on the tenant--which would be the only basis, as everyone agrees there's nothing special about the building--then the landlord would only be incentivized to jack up the rent to force Iron Bear out.  But then worse, no other landlord in Downtown would lease to Iron Bear because then they'd be prevented from redeveloping their properties.  So the City would only succeed in forcing Iron Bear out of business.

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19 minutes ago, Ghost of LL said:

I think that is a really helpful letter, in terms of helping people understand the dynamics at work.  It sounds like the property owner ought to be rewarded for its conduct during the pandemic. 

If the City were to slap a historic designation on the building based on the tenant--which would be the only basis, as everyone agrees there's nothing special about the building--then the landlord would only be incentivized to jack up the rent to force Iron Bear out.  But then worse, no other landlord in Downtown would lease to Iron Bear because then they'd be prevented from redeveloping their properties.  So the City would only succeed in forcing Iron Bear out of business.

I saw that staff has recommended against historic designation (I may not have all of the COA lingo just right), but we shall see what happens -- it seems easy to get a lot of signatures on a change.org petition from folks who have nothing at stake. 

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