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The Long-Empty La Bare Space on South Congress and East Riverside Is Turning Into a Nightlife Spot

The group behind downtown bar Higher Ground is running the unnamed space

A shelf of liquor bottles with the text Coming Attractions three times overlaid.
The unnamed East Riverside project will serve drinks.
Getty Images

That long-vacant building on the corner of South Congress and East Riverside is going to turn into some sort of nightlife venue this year. The unnamed venture at 110 East Riverside Drive will open sometime in the fall.

This future project is being run by NoCo Hospitality, the group behind downtown bar Higher Ground. It consists of Charles Ferraro (who also co-owns East Austin bars and venues Hotel Vegas/Volstead/LoLo) and Paolo Soriano (co-owner of Rainey Street bar Reina).

Besides that, there are no further details on what exactly the South Austin space will entail, but it’s safe to assume there will be cocktails at the very least, as well as shows (because concert promotion company C3 is also providing funds and will book the space). The space is being designed by architect Fred Hubnik (who also worked on essential Austin bars like Whislers and Nickel City).

Before this project, the Riverside address had been home to male strip club La Bare, which opened in 2006, but moved to North Austin in 2007 (it closed in 2010). It’s been empty ever since.

Also funding the project is real estate development company Elevate Development Partners. NoCo Hospitality opened Higher Ground in 2021.

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