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Three Major Changes to Rainey Street Bars Are in the Works

The district’s last single-family home is being turned into a bar, and Clive Bar and The Abili are looking to expand with extra floors

Clive Bar
Clive Bar
Clive Bar/Facebook
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.

There are three major changes slated for Rainey Street, the downtown neighborhood once known for its single-family homes, and is now a bustling downtown entertainment district with plentiful bars and high-rise buildings and hotels:

First: the last remaining single-family home at 71 Rainey Street is being turned into a bar. The forthcoming bar will be called Rainey Tavern, according to TABC permitting.

Bob Woody, known for many East Austin and Dirty Sixth bars like Shakespeare Pub, Blind Pig, and Buford’s Beer Garden, bought the building earlier this summer. At the time, he didn’t disclose what he was going to do with the building. There is also an LLC attached to the permit: 71 Rainey Tavern, of which Woody is the registered agent.

Eater has reached out for more information. This article will be updated accordingly.

Then: Two Rainey Street bars — Clive Bar and The Alibi — are looking to add on extra floors to its buildings on 609 Davis Street and 96 Rainey Street respectively. The major overhauls would increase the capacity numbers for both bars.

Clive Bar’s plans include adding a separate second story literally above the Craftsman house, plus a mezzanine. The original Clive Bar building would remain in place and stay open during the construction. The forthcoming second-floor would be supported by steel beams, as indicated by plans drawn up by North Arrow Studio.

Owner Bridget Dunlap Dunlap reiterated to Eater that the new Clive Bar isn’t going to be on stilts, as was guessed by real estate blog Towers earlier this summer based on available renderings of the plans at the time.

Clive’s site plan has been approved by the city, according to permitting. Once construction begins, Clive will remain open, but there are no available timelines yet.

Likewise, the owner of Alibi, Jason Steward, wants to knock down the current 96 Rainey Street bungalow. He’s looking to replace the building with a two-story bar, as well as add updated landscaping and streetscape, as indicated by permitting currently in review by the city and according to Austin Business Journal. The plan is currently waiting on city approvals and permitting.

Before Alibi opened in the fall of 2017 under Steward, the bar had been Bar 96 under Dunlap. She closed the bar earlier that summer.

Rainey Tavern

71 Rainey Street, Austin, Texas 78701

Clive Bar

609 Davis Street, , TX 78701 (512) 524-1623 Visit Website

The Alibi

96 Rainey Street, , TX 78701 (512) 953-8469 Visit Website