Austin’s gaming, animation and podcasting convention RTX is back and showcasing what’s new in the industry. Enjoy panels, meet your favorite Rooster Teeth star and play demos of the newest games for three days. Day passes start at $52.
Times vary Thursday-Friday | 📍Austin Convention Center, 500 E Cesar Chavez St.
Enjoy the deep roots of Texas music with weekly live performances at Lone Star Court. Located at The Domain, there’s always a tune for you to tap your foot to at the retro-inspired property. Every Thursday through Saturday, locals and travelers alike can enjoy live performances and specialty cocktails at the Water Trough. This week you can catch Ella Reid, Reagan Quinn, Michael Ingalls, and David Orr Trio.
7-9 p.m. Thursday, 8-11 p.m. Friday-Sunday | 📍Lone Star Court, 10901 Domain Dr.
Put on your swimsuit, grab a fruity rum drink and enjoy campy throwback movies every Friday at the Austin Motel through August. This week is “Wet Hot American Summer,” which starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person.
Doors open 5 p.m. Friday | 📍Austin Motel, 1220 S Congress Ave.
Dreamland Dripping Springs is bringing all things Independence Day into one place this year: Mini-golf, pickleball, snacks, live music from Bob Schneider and Pat Byrne and fireworks on the lawn to close out the evening. Tickets start at $25 and children under 5 are free.
Doors open at 5 p.m. Saturday | 📍Dreamland Dripping Springs, 2770 US-290.
Lutie’s is partnering with LeRoy & Lewis for a patriotic garden party, serving up some “New School BBQ,” specialty cocktails and a vinyl DJ set from Clemente Castillo to dance the night away. Tickets start at $45.
6-11 p.m. Sunday | 📍Commodore Perry Estate, 4100 Red River St.
Head into July 4 with a relaxing night under the stars, listening to indie folk band Fleet Foxes. Tickets start at $32.50 each.
Doors open at 6 p.m. Sunday | 📍Moody Amphitheater, 1401 Trinity St.
After a virtual year, Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic is back and bringing the talent to Q2 Stadium. Featuring, Jason Isbell, The 400 Unit, Tyler Childers, Charley Crockett and Asleep at the Wheel, the festival has been a can’t-miss phenomenon since 1972. Resale tickets are still available starting at $35.
Doors open 11 a.m. Monday | 📍Q2 Stadium, 10414 Mc Kalla Pl.
Spend your July 4 on the Central Plaza lawn, listening to performances from Two Tons of Steel, Southern Angels, Rock Bottom Strong Band, Robin Mordecai and The Saddle Sores. While you enjoy the tunes, enjoy food vendors, kid’s activities and more than 60 art vendors at this free event.
4 p.m. Monday | 📍Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd.
Don your red, white and blue for a concert of classic American songs from the Austin Symphony Orchestra followed by a “mile-high” fireworks display. The event is free, open to the public and pet-friendly.
8 p.m. Monday | 📍Auditorium Shores and the Long Center, 900 W Riverside Dr.
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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.