by Josh Justice, Austin Motel Front Desk Agent
In his book, How Music Works, David Byrne mentions that the late, great George Jones “knew the number of steps from the stage door of the Grand Ole Opry to the back door of Tootsie’s—thirty-seven.”
Jones never laid his head at the Austin Motel, but we think he'd enjoy knowing that it’s only 189 steps from the front door of our lobby to the entrance of another legendary club. While Nashville may have had Tootsie’s Orchid lounge, the famous honky-tonk bar, since 1960, Austin’s Continental Club has that beat by five years.
The Continental Club's history is rich and fabled - to get a taste, check out this great article by Michael Corcoran on the 25 most significant/notorious nights in Austin music history or this overview of the history of the club's evolution from private supper club to burlesque tavern to its current incarnation as Austin's best place to see a show across a wide variety of genres from rock to roots, conjunto to country.
“When thinking of fine entertainment, there’s one sure-fired destination that continues to deliver. And, yes, we’re talking about the now famed Continental Club and Gallery. Always a winner!” - Billy Gibbons, ZZ Top
It’s a good bet that every night of the week, at least one guest at the motel is here to see someone playing at the Continental Club. That, or someone playing there has a room waiting for them here after the show. Many guests base their trips to Austin on the club’s performance schedule, and locals often book a room so they don’t have to drive home after a fun night. We certainly don’t encourage overdoing it on the sauce, but you are, as one guest described it, within “stumbling distance” of your room. We would much rather you take 189 wobbly steps instead of hitting the road.
Next time Austin legends like Dale Watson or Alejandro Escovedo play the Continental Club, or jazz trumpeter Ephraim Owens blows down the walls of the upstairs Gallery, give us a call. We’ll make sure you have a home away from home after rocking the night away. In the morning, when you need that medicinal jolt of coffee and a taco, we’ll share the good news—it’s only 120 steps to Jo’s Coffee.