🗓 All weekend
Red River Cultural District’s annual free music fest is returning for three nights this weekend, showcasing more than 100 local artists. While admission is free, the festival helps raise funds for venue staff and local artists.
Various times Thursday-Saturday | 📍Red River Cultural District venues
Based on the beloved 2004 classic film of the same name, “Mean Girls” is coming to the stage at Bass Concert Hall with a musical twist. Follow Cady Heron in a new way as she navigates the animalistic world of high school and learns who to be a true friend. Tickets start at $45.
Multiple showtimes Thursday-Sunday | 📍Bass Concert Hall, 2350 Robert Dedman Dr.
I’m holding two drinks in my hands but only one can be named next top margarita. Join in on a bracket-style competition running throughout the month to try all eight margaritas, then name your favorite for the finals. Tickets start at $18.
3-9 p.m. Thursday-Sunday | 📍Desert Door Distillery, 211 Darden Hill Rd.
Soak up some nostalgia seeing the 2010s boy band Big Time Rush on stage again as part of a stop on their “Forever” reunion tour. Tickets start at $23.
Doors open at 7 p.m. Thursday | 📍Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park, 500 E 12th St.
Rappers Wiz Khalifa and Logic are coming to you live and on stage as part of their joint “Vinyl Verse” tour. You can secure a lawn ticket for as low as $23 or a seat for $25.
6:30 p.m. Friday | 📍Germania Insurance Amphitheater, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd.
Celebrating a slice of Texas history, Moody Amphitheater is showing the 1997 film “Selena” as this week’s Friday Flick. Stop by early for a performance from Selena tribute band Bidi Bidi Banda and the movie starts at sunset. Admission is free.
7 p.m. Friday | 📍Moody Amphitheater, 1401 Trinity St.
Spend your Friday night dancing under the stars with indie pop band COIN, making a stop on its “Uncanny Valley” tour. Tickets start at $33.
8 p.m. Friday | 📍Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater, 801 Red River St.
The first annual ATX Queer Music Fest is kicking off at Lustre Pearl to benefit Austin-area sexual health and wellness services. In addition to live music performances from Mama Duke, Chief Cleopatra and Caleb De Casper, there will be drag shows, markets to peruse and free goodies. Tickets are $5 for all ages and events are 21 and up after 7 p.m.
2 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday | 📍Lustre Pearl South, 801 Red River St.
Grammy-winning Texas-based R&B musician Leon Bridges is taking the stage with Little Dragon during his “The Boundless” tour. Tickets are still available for $40.
8 p.m. Saturday | 📍Moody Center, 2001 Robert Dedman Dr.
Relax after a busy weekend with a free outdoor yoga class for all skill levels led by local instructor Hannah Charles. Be sure to bring your own yoga mat and plenty of water.
9-10 a.m. Sunday | 📍Meanwhile Brewing Co., 3901 Promontory Point Dr.
By Jonathan Lee
The Planning Commission was split Tuesday on whether to help save an eclectic lakefront estate from demolition by zoning it historic amid concerns over tax breaks and the likelihood that a previous owner participated in segregation as a business owner.
The property in question, known as the Delisle House, is located at 2002 Scenic Drive in Tarrytown. The main house, with Spanish and Modern influences, was built in 1923 by Raymond Delisle, an optician. A Gothic Revival accessory apartment was built in 1946. The current owner applied to demolish the structures in order to build a new home.'
Historic preservationists, for their part, overwhelmingly support historic zoning, which would preserve the buildings in perpetuity. The Historic Landmark Commission unanimously voted to initiate historic zoning in July, citing architectural significance, landscape features and association to historic figures. City staffers recommend historic zoning, calling both structures one-of-a-kind examples of vernacular architecture.
Tarrytown neighbors have also banded together to stop the demolition. Many have written letters, and a few spoke at the meeting. “How could anyone buy this property with the intent of destroying it?” Ila Falvey said. “I think it’s an architectural treasure.”
Michael Whellan, an attorney representing the property owner, said that the claims made by preservationists are shaky. The buildings are run down, he said, and have had substantial renovations. A structural engineer hired by the owner said any attempt at preservation would involve tearing down and rebuilding – an undertaking Whellan said would likely cost millions.
Whellan also argued that any historical significance derived from the property’s association with Delisle and longtime owner C.H. Slator is dubious. “These men are not noted for any civic, philanthropic or historic impact,” he said.
What’s more, according to Whellan, Slator likely participated in segregation as the owner of the Tavern on North Lamar Boulevard between 1953 and 1960.
A city staffer, however, said she found no evidence to support the claim. “We would never landmark a property where a segregationist lived, or there was a racist person,” Kimberly Collins with the Historic Preservation Office said.
Commissioner Awais Azhar couldn’t support historic zoning in part due to lingering uncertainty about Slator. “Focusing on that factor is not here to disparage an individual or family. It is not about playing the race card. This is an important assertion for us to consider as Planning commissioners,” Azhar said.
Commissioner Carmen Llanes Pulido said that allegations of racism should come as no surprise. “We’re talking about white male property owners in the 1950s, in Austin, on the west side – and of course they were racist,” she said. But she argued that allowing the house to be demolished based on these grounds does nothing to help people of color who have been harmed by racism and segregation.
The question of tax breaks was also controversial. Michael Gaudini, representing the property owner, said that the tax breaks associated with historic zoning would exacerbate inequality by shifting property tax burdens to less affluent communities. City staffers estimate that the property, appraised at $3.5 million, would get either a $8,500 or $16,107 property tax break annually, depending on whether a homestead exemption is applied.
Commissioner Grayson Cox preferred the commission focus not on tax breaks but on whether the structures merit preservation. “To me, nothing in the historic preservation criteria lists, is this person deserving of a tax break or not?”
Azhar, on the other hand, said he plans to propose a code amendment getting rid of city property tax breaks for historic properties.
The commission fell one vote short of recommending historic zoning, with six commissioners in support and three opposed. Azhar and commissioners Claire Hempel and Greg Anderson voted against.
The odds of City Council zoning over an owner’s wishes are slim. Nine out of 11 members must vote in favor, and there have only been a handful of such cases over the past several decades.
What's new in Austin food & drink this week:
- Nau's Enfield Drug closing after losing their lease. Did McGuire Moorman Lambert buy the building, with its vintage soda fountain?
- Nixta Taqueria Chef Edgar Rico named to Time Magazine's Time 100 Next influencer list, after winning a James Beard Award earlier this year.
- Question: From what BBQ joint did pescatarian Harry Styles order food this week?
- Austin Motel is opening the pool and pool bar Wednesday nights in October for Freaky Floats.
- Vincent's on the Lake closing due to "economic conditions and low water levels [at Lake Travis]."
- Cenote has closed its Windsor Park location. The East Cesar Chavez location remains open.
- The Steeping Room on N. Lamar has closed.
- Local startup It's Skinnyscored new financing for its gluten-free pasta business.
- P. Terry's opened a new location in Kyle, at 18940 IH-35.