East Austin music venue Stay Gold becomes second Long Play Lounge location
Austinites driving by the site of bar and music venue Stay Gold in the past few days may have noticed a sign (literally) of changes afoot. Where the neon Stay Gold sign once stood in the parking lot at 1910 E. Cesar Chavez St., there's now a new sign identifying the business as the Long Play Lounge.
It's not a full-scale change, though. The new name connects the former Stay Gold location with the original Long Play Lounge, which opened a couple of years ago at 704 W. St. Johns Ave. in North Austin. Stay Gold co-owner Will Tanner was a co-founder of the Long Play, and when his Stay Gold partner Nathan Hill recently departed from that business, Tanner decided to turn the spot into "Long Play East," as he's calling it.
The new Long Play location is closed for now because of the coronavirus pandemic, Tanner said on Monday. Once it opens, likely by March, the original Long Play's model of a bar focused on spinning vinyl records will be incorporated at the east location.
"It will be very much like the Long Play on St. Johns — except for, once it’s appropriate, we’ll have live music very often, between four and seven days a week," Tanner said. Stay Gold had become a popular small venue for live local music since its arrival in 2015.
“We’ll probably start off just spinning records and have most people hang out on (the) patio, with super-limited indoor seating," Tanner said.
Tanner said it's possible that Hill may reopen Stay Gold in a different location. Hill, a partner in East Austin honky-tonk the White Horse, also owns a bar called High Noon across the street from the former Stay Gold, as well as the East Riverside bar and corn dog restaurant Frazier's Long & Low.
Tanner's business partners in both Long Play locations are renowned musician/actor and recent Austin transplant John Doe, co-founder of legendary Los Angeles band X, and local musician Michael Therieau.
MORE VENUE NEWS:Austin's One-2-One Bar will live on with new ownership
Tanner also owns the iconic University of Texas campus-area bar and music venue Hole in the Wall, which reopened last fall after being closed for much of the year because of the pandemic. Tanner, who recently extended Hole in the Wall's lease for another six months, noted that city pandemic relief programs for venues rolled out late last year have helped his businesses stay afloat.
“We got an infusion of cash at Hole in the Wall and Long Play East," he said. "I think very few cities are doing that. The fact that Austin stepped up is pretty special. It's what has given me confidence to even try to go forward. Without the city’s help, I would’ve maybe folded maybe both the Hole and Stay Gold.”
Tanner said he's also optimistic about further help for the venues this year through Save Our Stages funds included in a stimulus package Congress passed in late 2020.