A North Austin bar that has specialized in wine and beer since 1987, well before craft beer flourished around the country, will probably close before Christmas Day, according to CultureMap Austin.
The owners of B.B. Rover's Cafe and Pub, on Research Boulevard, decided not to renew their lease because two of them, in their mid-60s, want to retire. An eleventh hour save is possible if a new owner comes on board, but customers will probably have to bid adieu to the beloved bar in the coming days — including at an all-day official farewell bash on Dec. 16 that is being called the End of An Era Open Mic Extravaganza.
"The B. B. Rovers lease expires at the end of the year and is not expected to be renewed," according to the Facebook post announcing the open mic event. "As frustrated/sad/mad as we may have felt over all the effort spent attempting to avoid this, let's not cry in our beer. Let's play some music and PARTY."
In the years before craft beer took off, B.B. Rover's focused on imported brews. Since then, the bar has become one of the most reliable places in town to find Austin beers, such as those from Celis Brewery. B.B. Rover's, in business for 31 years, used to tap the Celis beers of the 1990s and has also now included the beers on the draft wall in the two years since the brewery founded by a legendary Belgian brewer was resurrected.
Even if B.B. Rover's does close, co-owner Eugene Downing said in the CultureMap article that the Facebook page will remain active so regulars can stay in touch and keep up with their favorite bartenders and servers.
The Dec. 16 event will have several open mic sessions, as well as live music by the Better Halves and the Kaye Pasa Trio. For more information, visit facebook.com/rovers.pub/.