East Austin

East Austin is full of locally owned businesses with lots of character creating a wonderful landscape for a place to call home.

The food choices seem never-ending, from gourmet to quick and cheap, and all unique. The mother-daughter team at East Side Show Room, located on East 6th Street, describe it as “inspired by the cafées and delicatessens from eastern Europe to Texas in the pre World War II era, the turn of the century music halls of Berlin and Vienna, and the 1920’s avant-garde theatres of New York.”  They offer gourmet cuisine and vintage cocktails along with live music and art

T.C.’s Lounge on Webberville Road is a down home blues club where you can buy a cold beer, enjoy free food cooked by “Baby Girl” – one of the owners. You can BYOW (wine) and BYOL (liquor). The live music includes a renowned Monday night blues scene, and Sundays at 3pm Austin’s style of church happens with jazz trumpeter Jeff Lofton Sunday-Go-To-Meeting Jazz.

Eastside Cafe, at 2113 Manor Road, oozes charm in a historic house with a garden and gift shop. With a focus on fresh and organic food, many items feature food grown in the cafe’s garden.

If you’re having a late night, try Justine’s Brasserie, bringing a touch of France to East Fifth Street in a 1937 Bungalow renovated into a cozy bistro that stays open until 1:30 a.m.

East 11th Street is hosts some music history spots that are still adding to the Austin music scene today. The Texas Music Museum’s exhibits and shows fill in the details of Texas music history. Kenny Dorham’s Backyard, named for the renowned jazz trumpeter who grew up nearby, hosts Fourth Fridays with fun activities for the kids, live music and free beer for the grown-ups, and other events. The historic Victory Grill originally opened to serve African-American soldiers returning from the war. A stop on the original Chitlin’ Circuit, over the years the stage featured talent such as Ike and Tina Turner, James Brown, Etta James, Billie Holiday, Chuck Berry and Janis Joplin.

The music name-dropping doesn’t stop there. The Jazz at St. James Festival, now in it’s 16th year at St. James Episcopal Church on Webberville Road, has featured top tier talent such as Curtis Fuller and David “Fathead” Newman.

But music isn’t the only art action in East Austin. The free annual East Austin Studio Tour (E.A.S.T.) shows off the many art galleries lining the historic streets over two weekends in November. 

Clayworks, a pottery studio on East 6th Street, whose work adorns such landmarks as the Texas State Capitol, The Driskill Hotel and the University of Texas, often offers classes to the public, too.

Art and business mix nicely on the East Side is Door Numer 3. A nationally recognized ad agency, one principal, M.P. Mueller is a resident blogger for The New York Times. Her blog, “Branded” is part of their “You’re the Boss: The Art of Running a Small Business” series.

The George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center and Carver Branch Library are housed in a 36,000 square-foot facility including  four galleries, a conference room, classroom, darkroom, dance studio, 134-seat theatre, and archival space. The galleries feature a core exhibit on Juneteenth, a permanent exhibit on Austin African-American families, an Artists Gallery, and a children’s exhibit on African-American scientists and inventors. The museum is owned and operated by the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Cultural Affairs Division.

Other places of interest in East Austin include Huston-Tillotson University and Texas State Cemetery.