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Longtime Austin bar owner buys last house on Rainey Street

‘King of Sixth Street’ Bob Woody purchases only remaining single-family home in entertainment district

Green street signs with white lettering that read “River” on the top one and “Rainey” on the bottom one. They are crossed on top of a post with part of a red and white triangular “Yield” underneath.
Single-family homes on Rainey Street are so over.

Serial nightclub entrepreneur Bob Woody, who has owned numerous downtown Austin bars over the years, has purchased the last single-family home standing on Rainey Street, the Austin Business Journal reported Friday.

There was a great deal of buzz about the house, a single-story wood-frame structure at 71 Rainey Street, when it was listed in June for the asking price of $2.7 million. The hoopla was largely symbolic—a sort of end-of-an-era thing for an era that has long passed, when Rainey was a small, tight-knit neighborhood of such homes. The area transitioned over the past decade or so into a popular club and restaurant zone, packed with tourists and locals alike most weekends.

There are several multifamily residences in the area, such as 70 Rainey next door, with more on the way, including AirBnB hotel Natiivo.

Woody, whom former city councilmember Gus Garcia dubbed the “Mayor of Sixth Street,” has owned various downtown clubs over the years, most on East/Dirty Sixth or Red River streets. He currently owns 10 bars and restaurants, ABJ reported, including the Blind Pig and Shakespeare’s Pub on East Sixth Street.

While Woody did not disclose his plans for the building, which is located on a 5,710-square-foot lot, his business history and the current popularity of the area’s night life would certainly seem to warrant its development in that direction. (It was also advertised as a “bar property” on LoopNet.)

The property also poses some challenges to developers wishing to build another high-rise or tear down the house, which was built in 1910—including its lot size and the former home’s potential to be landmarked by the city’s historic commission.