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Brunch, Black art and local bops: What to do this weekend in Austin

(The Driskill)

The weekend is finally upon us and with temperatures largely staying above 60 degrees Saturday and Sunday, you’ll want to soak up all the spring weather you can get. Whether you’re in the mood for a boozy brunch, wandering around an art museum or listening to some local tunes, you can find it here in town.


Whether you’re painfully free all weekend or just need a little bit to supplement your agenda, try out one of these weekend activities.

Brunch at 1886 Cafe & Bakery | 604 Brazos St.

Start out the day with everyone’s favorite urban pastime: brunch. If you haven’t yet been to the historic Driskill Hotel’s cafe, 1886 Cafe & Bakery, it’s high time you tried one of its Texas-shaped waffles. You’ll find all the brunch staples like migas and eggs benedict but you’ll also spot some unique additions, like a cauliflower steak topped with jalapeno chimichurri or the Brazos Huevos Rancheros, topped with cotija cheese.

Best of all, 1886 Cafe doesn’t even take reservations so there’s no need to reserve ahead of time.

New Acquisitions by Contemporary Black Artists at the Blanton Museum of Art | 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.

An installation to celebrate Black artists across the nation, “Assembly,” was made possible by an anonymous donor who wanted to ameliorate the underrepresentation of Black art. Including sculptures, paintings, drawings, photographs, textiles and more produced between 1980 and 2019, the subject matter is diverse but comes back to a root theme: “the long afterlife of slavery.” Works include a resin sculpture made with raw cotton from artist Kevin Beasley’s family’s farm and a neon sculpture made by Cauleen Smith, commemorating the life of Sandra Bland, a Black woman who died in police custody.

Admission runs $5 for children and $12 for adults.

​Continental Club | 1315 S. Congress Ave.

Close the day out with a jazzy night at the historic Continental Club, which starts music out early in the day and goes deep into the night.

Saturday: Starting at 3:30 p.m., “Mr. Honky-Tonk Piano” Earl Poole Ball will take the stage with a cover-free show of re-inspired classic country.

Next up is a couple of Continental Club regulars The Peterson Brothers, dubbed the “baddest cats in the world” by Gary Clark Jr., who will take the stage at 8 p.m. Catch their jazz/funk sound for $17 in advance.

Later into the evening, Greyhounds, another Continental Club staple, will start their uniquely danceable set at 10 p.m. for a $15 cover. The last set of the night, East Austin native Nikki DaVaughn’s soul and funk tunes will start at midnight.

(Heybale/Instagram)

Sunday: Sunday’s music won’t run quite as late but still kicks off with a free show from Marshall Hood, nephew of singer-songwriter Champ Hood, starting at 2:30 p.m.

Earl Poole Ball returns with the band Heybale!, which claims to be the “most popular country supergroup in Austin. The band, which has been performing at the Continental Club since 2000, takes the stage at 6:30 p.m. for a $10 cover.

The final show of the night, Willie Pipkin & Friends will take to the stage at 9:30 p.m. Expect a mix of bluegrass, swing, jazz and rock at this show, with a $7 cover at the door.

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‘Like speed dating of cats’ at Purr-fecto Cat Lounge
Purr-fecto Cat Lounge

Lina Martinez with her newly adopted cat, Emmanuel, who she renamed Sullivan.

Timmy and Tommy are ready to play.

As the 2-month-old white-and-tabby brothers swat feather wands, chase toys and generally hold court inside Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, a half-dozen potential adoptive parents look on lovingly, trying to get their attention.

“This is kind of like the speed dating of cats,” said Lupita Foster, owner of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge. “I intentionally didn’t put in any tables. That’s why we call it a lounge instead of a cat café because we have these lounge areas where you can sit and relax and cuddle.”

Foster, who has owned a cleaning company, Enviromaids, for 18 years, was inspired to open Purr-fecto Cat Lounge after adopting her own cat, Romeo, from a local shelter.

“When you want to adopt a cat, you have to spend a lot of time with them to get their personality,” Foster said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and something that makes me feel good, that warms my heart. A business with a purpose. This was a perfect idea.”

Actually, a purr-fect idea.

Inspired in part by a cat lounge she visited in Los Angeles, Foster began laying the groundwork for the business in late 2021 and officially opened the doors of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, located at 2300 S. Lamar Blvd., in July 2022. Since then, she’s worked with rescue organizations such as Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and Sunshine Fund Cat Rescue to facilitate nearly 100 cat adoptions.

At any given time, there are 10-15 cats living in the space, which features an ideal blend of calm, cool corners and adorably Instagrammable backdrops with phrases such as “I want to spend all my 9 lives with you.”

Lina Martinez, 32, learned about Purr-fecto Cat Lounge from a friend’s Instagram post and made an appointment to visit two days later.

“My first impression was, ‘AWW!’” Martinez said. “The kittens were to die for. I felt happy and at peace – just what I needed.”

Visitors to the cat lounge pay $15 for a 30-minute CATXperience session or $30 for a 70-minute session that is spent getting to know the personalities of each cat. Foster said the first thing she typically sees from visitors to the lounge is a smile.

“Everybody that enters the door is smiling,” she said. “And we’ve seen people who have cried because they can’t have kids and they decide to go and adopt a cat instead.”

Foster said she loves bringing in cats who might not have a chance to be adopted at traditional shelters. She told the story of one cat named Izzy, who was partially blind, who was adopted by a family that had a deaf cat at home.

“Izzy was not going to get adopted anywhere else, but she’s extremely beautiful,” she said. “If she was in a cage in a rescue and you tell people she’s blind, she was probably going to be overlooked. But visiting our space, she doesn’t seem like she’s blind. She knows her way around. She moves around perfectly.”

Although Martinez, who had been casually looking for a pet to adopt since moving to Austin nearly four years ago, was interested in a cat named Ruby that she had seen on Purr-fecto’s social media, at the lounge she instead found herself drawn to 5-month-old mixed breed Tuxedo cat.

“I thought he was a star,” she said. “He worked the room and introduced himself to everyone. When I laid down to pet Ruby, he ran from the other side of the room and cuddled with me. It was game over. He got me.”

And she, of course, got him, complete with a commemorative photo that read “My Furrever Family” the day she took him home. Although his original name was Emmanuel, she renamed him Sullivan after her favorite DJ.

“Purr-fecto is special because of the amount of effort and love they put into taking care of the cats,” Martinez said, “and finding them good homes and making possible adopters feel at home.”

Foster, who spent a recent Thursday hosting a group of teenagers in foster care at the lounge, several of whom expressed interest in working there, said the best part about her new endeavor is that her heart is always full.

“I just feel complete,” she said. “I always felt as an entrepreneur that I was missing something. I knew I accomplished a lot, but in my heart I was missing a little connection with the community. Now I’m creating connections between humans and pets and that’s amazing. I’m creating family bonds. It’s just about love, you know. And we need that.”

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