It says a lot about an establishment that is known for being a unique stand out in a city that is known for its unique performance venues and bars. The Spider House Café and Ballroom could easily be the outcast kid you knew in high school, the one who purposefully avoids the popular crowd, but somehow still manages to be a part of it. Coconut Club Vacations reviews this popular destination and why may want to visit.
Nearly 20 years ago owner Conrad Bejarano discovered a jewel in the rough. The founder walked into a dusty, run-down property full of abandoned musical instruments and transformed it into a hip, hotspot of art, music, and culture. The venue is described as having a “small, carnival-village” like atmosphere where patrons come for coffee, cocktails, craft-beer, and community. Seven days a week patrons come for poetry, independent film screenings, loud music, and even tattoos.
The history of the venue lends itself to its current incarnation. Originally built in the 1930s by a German immigrant as a house for one of his daughters, the property changed through many hands during its lifetime. In the mid-1970s it was left as an abandoned property and quickly became a party house. It was known by local musicians and artists as “a good place to get weed, hang out, play and crash.” When Bejarano found the property in the mid-90s he had a vision for it to become a destination for the community. He saw it as a great space to create a cultural gathering joint where people could come together to share ideas, talent, and creativity.
Already known for its unique atmosphere and patrons, the venue soon became known in the community for another reason: ghosts. Staff members have reported strange happenings in the café long after customers have left for the night. Sounds with no specified origin have been heard coming from the basement and it is said that there is a bevy of paranormal activity on a regular basis in the house and tattoo shop. The possibility of other-worldly activity just adds another level to the unique Austin stop.
The Café and Ballroom are located at 2906 & 2908 Fruth Street in Austin. For more history and a view of the full menu, check out their website at spiderhouseaustin.com. The Café and Ballroom are open 11am-2am, 7 days a week.