During our first annual Burger Week, we debuted a series called Old School Austin, featuring photo shoots of restaurants that pre-date 1975. It was popular enough that we've decided to bring it on full time in order to take a closer look at classic Austin. Here's the first of the series, featuring Clarksville soda fountain Nau's Enfield Drug.[Photos: Jasmin Sun / EATX]
Like most other long-standing burger joints in Austin, the story behind Nau's Enfield Drug is a composite of several years' worth of narrative history rather than hard-printed fact. As current manager Laura Labay tells it, the soda fountain has remained virtually unchanged since it first opened in 1951. Back in its heyday, the current Nau's was one of two locations opened by brothers Hilton Earnest and Ladner Nau — the other occupying a space at 24th and San Gabriel Streets.
After the Naus decided to retire, current owner Lambert Labay took ownership of the pharmacy in March 1971. Save for the addition of breakfast tacos, waffles and a veggie burger, the menu has stayed the same. The original 1950's aqua-colored shake mixer was even in operation until recently, when Labay had to upgrade to a newer, faster three-pronged model to keep up with customer demand.
While Hollywood types like Ron Howard and Ethan Hawke have been spotted grabbing breakfast tacos from the soda fountain, Nau's employees don't hesitate when they tell you to get the bacon cheeseburger (made with Black Angus) and a chocolate malt. Fry lovers beware: Nau's has no deep fryer, which means its burgers can only be served alone or with a bag of chips.
· All Old School Austin Coverage on Eater