Best Austin Import - 2001
We Houstonians might smirk a bit when we see those "we're hipper than you are" Austinites struggling to take a breath over the tidal wave of growing traffic and Silicon Valley rejects. But we can't get too smug. Not when they've exported a version of one their city's finest clubs to Midtown. The Continental Club, which opened in the summer of 2000, offers great local and national acts inside a former 1920s general store (the building still has its original fixtures and metal ceilings). Junior Brown, the Hollisters and Joe Ely make regular appearances, and the club has featured local blues greats like I.J. Gosey and Little Joe Washington at happy hour. Expect reasonable beer prices, friendly bartenders and fantastic sound. A big back room offers a pool table and separate bar, and the bathrooms are actually clean. To top it off, the night of the Great Flood, Junior Brown kept playing, and the bartenders kept serving -- while the patrons kept dancing in ankle-deep water. Whether it's Houston or Austin, who cares? That's pretty hip.