Oct 3, 2022 - News

Tower slated for long-ago site of beloved Austin cafe

The exterior of Les Amis

Exterior of Les Amis in March 1971. Photo: PICA-08569, Austin History Center/Austin Public Library; Photographer unknown

The former site of a cherished West Campus cafe may be razed and replaced with a tower.

Driving the news: Student housing firm LV Collective has filed documents with the city to build a 30-story project on the site, today recognizable for its French Quarter-style wrought-iron wraparound balcony, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Why it matters: The site at 504 W. 24th St., just a block from the University of Texas, is currently occupied by a Starbucks and a Smoothie King — but once was home to Les Amis, a popular gathering spot for musicians and students, and Inner Sanctum Records, regarded as one of the first indie record shops in Texas.

  • Musician Roky Erickson and members of the band the Butthole Surfers were among Les Amis' many regulars — and scenes from Richard Linklater's 1990 film "Slacker" were shot there.
  • Prefiguring a wave of change in Austin, the cafe and the record shop, facing rent increases, closed in 1997.
  • Les Amis was the subject of a 2005 documentary.

The bottom line: A spokesperson for LV Collective told the Statesman that it is "too premature to share further details or comment further right now."


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Austin.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Austin stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Austin.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more