Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering Artz Ribhouse

Z and Art

Today, 9/11 is a sad day for our nation, yesterday was a sad day for south Austin. Artz Rib House, my home away from home most every Monday night for many years, was demolished. It had been a long time coming but it still knocked me for a loop when I saw the demolition taking place while driving down South Lamar yesterday. I cried all the way to my destination.

Artz Rib house back in the day
The Studebakers
Artz Rib house, yesterday

Artz Rib house, yesterday

In the 1990's on any given evening, I could walk from my house in Barton Hills to the corner of Lamar and Bluebonnet to hear music at Artz. Monday was my favorite because I knew that I would see from 10 - 50 of my best friends there to hear Sarah Elizabeth and the Banned. Sarah's mother Sudie, otherwise know as "The Queen Mother" was there every Monday dressed like a million dollars. I have always said I want to grow up to be Sudie. She taught us so much. I remember hearing her say, as she counted the money from the tip jar at the end of the night that one should tip AT LEAST one dollar for each member of the band. I thought that isn't much but on second thought, it is more than most are willing to tip.

Sarah Elizabeth Campbell

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Sudie, Sayra and Vicki

Bill, Marcia, Sudie and Sayra
Chris, Sudie, Karen and Slaid

I was talking about how sad I was to my daughter today and she reminded me that it was a Monday when she went into labor with my grandson Dylan. Needless to say, it was one of the few Monday evenings that I missed Sayra Elizabeth and the Banned play at Artz. Shortly thereafter, Dylan started going with me on Monday. He grew up holding court at the bar, drinking sodas, eating ribs and telling jokes to the big guys. When he got bored he would make his way to the back patio where he played in the dirt with his trucks and tractors. One of the few times I didn't take him, I got home and he came up and hugged me and immediately smelled the BBQ smoke on my clothing and said "You went to Artz without me!"

Rene and Dylan

After about 15 years, SXSW became sort of a joke for local Austinites so Paul Barker put together a great week of FREE showcases called "South By South Lamar" with Albert and Gage usually playing on the closing Saturday bill. I saw some really great music every year, some local and some from far off lands who where just in town for SXSW.
Albert and Gage

Chris, Dave, Sarah
Christine and Christina
The Flyin'A's

Beth and George

Thursday nights during "South By South Lamar" we had Hawaiian shirt contests. 
Marvin and Danny playing Thursday evening
Hawaiian Shirt contest night

Here are some of the best shirts.
Z, Madgie, David, Art and Danny
Danny, Art and Z
Madgie Art and Christina
Madgie and David
Paul Barker, Danny Britt and Winker with me, Christina announcing the winners!

When Artz fell on hard times we had a benefit to raise money. 

Christina, Z and Beth

Rene and Pam
Christine and Pam

Auction items at benefit

This is one of my favorite posters I have ever designed
and look at the line up of musicians who came out to support Artz!
Art signing posters to be auctioned off
Z and Art

May Birthdays

There was another traditional that began at Artz on Monday nights as well. There were so many of us that were born in May that we started a May birthday celebration, which later led into having a birthday almost weekly for whomever was having a birthday.
Front Row: Sarah, Sherry, Christina Cash
Back row: Debbie, Madgie

Paul, Sherry, Sarah, Cash, Christina

...then there were times Jon Emry and his band played at Artz,
Art being the bass player in the band.
David, Beth, Art and Jon

These times at Artz will be missed but fortunately as I told Sarah Elizabeth yesterday:

 "The good news is that you (Sarah Elizabeth) have a loyal family that follows your sweet soul and beautiful voice around from venue to venue. Thank God for El Mercado South!"

.... and in the words of  my dear friend Sarah Elizabeth:

"Artz Rib House was so generous in having local musicians play weekly. He and Zenobia made it a great place to hang, eat baby backs and kick-ass potato salad and a kind of clubhouse of some real characters. A great place to see your friends. Those years mean a lot to me. It's a big hit, losing that place." ~Sarah Elizabeth Campbell

As the song goes...

Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got til it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

... In closing... a gentle reminder.... we'll see you Monday night at El Mercado and Donn's Depot!

Some of these photos by Winker. Thank you Winker!
No names have been changed to protect the innocent :)


  1. Wow. What a wonderful tribute! Thanks so much, Christina. You did a fabulous job here!!

  2. Great job Christina!!! I really miss that place! So sad to see it go....

  3. Amazing flood of memories, Christina. I played there in a variety of settings (renegade SXSL showcases), Monday night gigs, other nights, etc. And of course the food (ribs when I was feeling decadent or the veggie plate when I was being more mindful). Of course... all the familiar spirits too. It seems like another life ago. Indeed it is.

  4. I miss the hell out of Artz Ribhouse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!