I devoted no fewer than 15 posts to its demise (see them all here), and -– in a way -– it was the story that gave this blog a purpose, but I haven’t touched on the topic of the late, lamented Cedar Tavern that used to stand on University Place between 11th and 12th Streets since early in 2015. Considering that the establishment itself closed its doors in 2006, it’s somewhat remarkable I continued to have things to say about it.
Well, this week, I stumbled upon something about it worth nothing. But first, some background…
This week is SXSW, which -– for those of you not in the know -- is acronymized shorthand for South By Southwest (also frequently annoyingly truncated to simply “Southby”), ostensibly a multi-day music festival. It started off, 30 years ago, as simply an organic indie rock festival, playing to the endearing quirkiness of Austin, Texas, but has since grown –- much like, say, the Sundance Film Festival -– into a comparatively very corporate convention that also involves technology. It may have once been a more freewheeling affair, but, by all accounts, those days are largely over. I’d love to say I remember it when it was such, but even in all my travels to Texas over the past several years, I’ve never made it to Austin. I hear it’s cool, or at least was.
In any case, SXSW is sort of a big deal for the organization I work for, so in the past several weeks, I’ve been busy orchestrating various elements from here in New York. This all culminates this week. I don’t get to go, alas … or at least not this time. However sanitized and choreographed it may have become, it does sound like a fun few days.
Anyway, in searching for some information about one of the venues in town, I spotted a link with a provocative headline, that being “New Bar with Legendary Ties Opens in Inside Long-Awaited Austin.” Curiosity duly piqued, I clicked on over when what suddenly appears before me is the Cedar Tavern’s actual, lovingly crafted mahogany bar.
Jarringly re-positioned in an incongruously well-lit and brightly tiled environment, there was the very bar that my friends and -– crucially –- my wife and I spent countless hours propping up over the years. In fact, here’s a not-at-all flattering shot of me and my friend Dave from the Gin Goblins enjoying a couple of pints against it circa 2005.
Just like the Moondance Diner (re-positioned in Wyoming) and the giant lizard from the roof of the Lone Star Café (now also in Texas, as recently discussed), it seems many of the touchstones of my favorite incarnation of New York City have moved out to the wild, wild west.
In any case, I now have a new reason to want to go to Austin, Texas.
Here, once again, is a video of the Cedar Tavern's final night in business on University Place in 2006 because why not?