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Long-vacant La Bare location in South Austin to become new nightlife venue

Eric Webb
Austin 360
The former site of the La Bare male strip club, seen here in 2006, will be turned into a new nightlife venue, according to an Austin hospitality group.

A long-vacant piece of real estate in a prominent Austin spot is set to become a nightlife venue later this year.

NoCo Hospitality has leased the property at 110 E. Riverside Drive, according to a representative. That spot was once home to La Bare, a male strip club. The new nightlife venue, currently unnamed, is planned to open in the fall.

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The new tenants are planning a 12,000-square-foot venue. It will be designed by Fred Hubnik, the architect behind Austin spots like Whislers, Nickel City and Sour Duck Market. 

The partners behind the hospitality group have experience in Austin nightlife: Charles Ferraro is co-owner of East Austin music venues Hotel Vegas and Volstead and wine bar LoLo, while Paolo Soriano co-owns the Rainey Street cocktail bar Reina. NoCo Hospitality opened downtown bar Higher Ground last year.

Backing for the new Riverside Drive project also comes from Elevate Development Partners and concert promoters C3 Presents. The latter, which also operates Austin music venues like Scoot Inn and Emo's, will be the new club's exclusive booking agent.

La Bare moved from the spot in 2007; the club was within 1,000 feet of the Texas School for the Deaf, a violation of a city zoning regulation, according to Statesman reports at the time. The 11-acre lot near Riverside Drive's intersection with Congress Avenue has been vacant since, save for some pop-up events. Its façade has occasionally served as a mural surface and as an advertising space, like a guerilla campaign to promote the Rolling Stones' recent Austin visit.

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According to Travis County property records, the site is owned by Crockett Partners Ltd. Its value was appraised at $2,953,862 in 2021. Over the decades, it's been home to many venues of different genres, including Xtreme Nightclub, Sidekicks, Steamboat, Bad Dog Comedy Theater and Club La Vila.

The site is near the former American-Statesman building. The Austin City Council recently gave preliminary approval to a zoning change for that location, a step toward bringing a mixed-used development to the shores of Lady Bird Lake.