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North Austin Pub Is Still In Danger of Closing After 31 Years

Craft beer bar B.B. Rover’s renewed its Research Boulevard lease for the next three to four months

B.B. Rover’s bar
B.B. Rover’s bar
Leila R./Yelp
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

B.B. Rover’s Cafe and Pub, a North Austin bar and restaurant institution for 31 years, was in danger of closing at the end of 2018. A Facebook post advertising a closing party elaborated that the restaurant’s lease at 12636 Research Boulevard will likely not be renewed. The “End of an Era” party was scheduled for Sunday, December 16, from noon to 10 p.m.

However, according to a recent article in Community Impact, B.B. Rover’s secured a lease for an additional three to four months. The kitchen will be open on a limited basis, and is looking to hire servers and cooks. The long-term future of the restaurant is still uncertain.

Owners John Gross, David Dunn, and Eugene Downing wanted to sell or close the restaurant and bar due to rising costs and looming retirement, according to Community Impact. The restaurant is known for a wide beer selection and for promoting local and craft breweries (like recently reopened Celis Brewery), as well as serving classic pub fare. The bar also celebrates a “101 Club” for people who have tried 101 beers at the bar (it boasts over 1400 members).

As outlined in a previous Community Impact story celebrating the bar’s 30th anniversary two years ago, B.B. Rover’s opened in 1987, under Gross, and Jack and Diane McClary, a couple who traveled the world to sample beer (the labels they collected make up the table and bar tops). At the time, Jollyville Road had just been paved.

B.B. was an offshoot of Houston’s bar TV Rover’s, and named after Rover, an African gray parrot who once lived in the bar (but now is commemorated in a neon sign).

B.B. Rover’s joins several other Austin legends that closed this year, among them The Frisco, Dolce Vita, Frank & Angie’s, and the south location of Threadgill’s.

This article has been updated to reflect the current status of B.B. Rover’s lease in 2019.

BB Rover's Cafe & Pub

12636 Research Boulevard, Suite B101, Austin, Texas 78759 (512) 335-9504 Visit Website