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New Bar Takes Over No Va’s Space on Rainey Street

Named Stagger Lee

Stagger Lee at No Va
Stagger Lee is moving into No Va’s old space
Patrick Michels/EATX
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

A new bar is taking over shuttered restaurant No Va on 87 Rainey Street. The new bar will be called Stagger Lee. It’s helmed by Matt Luckie, Max Moreland, and Mike Joyce, all of whom are part of hospitality group FBR Management, but the bar isn’t an FBR venture.

Not much is known about the bar at this point, but it’s safe to assume booze will be involved since it has a TABC license. It’s also probably safe to expect that the Rainey Street bar will most likely include some sort of Stubb’s barbecue outpost, seeing as how FBR tends to bring the barbecue joint to its bars (Mean-Eyed Cat, Lala’s, Graceland Grocery)

Stagger Lee was the nickname of Lee Shelton. He was famous for getting into a fight and shooting his friend Billy Lyons in a bar in St. Louis in 1895. Lyons died and Shelton was arrested, jailed, and eventually pardoned. The story was recounted various songs in the 1920s and beyond, including Mississippi John Hurt, Woody Guthrie, Nick Cave, Grateful Dead, and many others.

Rainey Street is set to get a bunch of new restaurants and bars in the upcoming year. Brew & Brew is opening a new cafe and bar Little Brother, and Israeli mini-burger chain Burgerim will open its first Austin location.

FBR Management knows its way around bars. It operates Star Bar, The Wheel, Gibson Bar, Stubb’s, Graceland Grocery, and all three locations of Lavaca Street, The group is also behind the revamping of Mean-Eyed Cat and Lala’s.

Restaurant and bar No Va closed last summer. Founding executive chef Brad Sorenson opened the restaurant in 2013. He left in 2015 to join Alamo Drafthouse’s kitchen, where he oversees the movie theater’s special menus, including the most recent Black Panther one. Abby Yates took over his position when it closed.

Stagger Lee

87 Rainey Street, Austin, Texas 78701