610 Nueces St
Austin, TX 78701
Hours: Mon-Fri 4pm-2am, Sat-Sun 6pm-2am
Established: December 2011
Written by: Lucas Owens
The Rattle Inn is a contemporary ode to the country bars of Texas lore, backed by three of Austin’s most celebrated personae. The owners are Kevin Williamson and Matt Luckie, who operate some of the most successful restaurants and bars in Austin, and Ray Benson, good friend to Willie Nelson and frontman of Asleep at the Wheel, a 9-time Grammy award-winning Texas swing band. The gentlemen tout the venue as a place to have “a night on the town” and “a rowdy night at an old Texas honky tonk.” Given their collective successes and experience you are bound to experience something special here.
The venue is comprised of Ray’s Backstage Bar, the Pine-Lodge Bar, and a rooftop bar, each providing a slightly different take on the classic Texas honky tonk. The centerpiece of the venue is the sonically astounding Ray’s Backstage Bar with its high-end JBL sound system. Ray Benson’s personal memorabilia speckle the walls creating the feeling you are in outlaw country. Adjoining Ray’s Backstage area is the Pine-Lodge Bar equipped with a corner stage, faux rattlesnake skin booths, and enough taxidermy to impress Davy Crockett. The building’s top floor boasts a rooftop bar primed for two-steppers, a 360 degree bar, and a view of the Austin skyline that makes the Rattle Inn a must-visit destination all by its lonesome.
Although relatively new on the scene, The Rattle Inn has all the promising elements of what’s to be the next famous venue on the Austin live music circuit. “Growing up here, there were great places like Memory Bar, Armadillo and the Spoke. I believe this place will become one of those places,” commented Kevin, who is also the owner and chef at Austin’s famous Ranch 616. Ray Benson’s booking agency is currently providing the talent, so each night of the week promises a wide array of upcoming and established acts. If you’re looking for a bar that attracts special guests, this is the place for you. Sunday at the Rattle Inn is artist’s night, where touring acts that are fresh off the road come to jam and enjoy $1 Bud Lights. On Tuesday Cindy Cashdollar, who has accompanied Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Hot Tuna, plays with the Bordertown Bootleggers. Thursday night offers two-step lessons followed by a live band. “There was no downtown 35 years ago,” proclaims Ray. With a venue like The Rattle Inn on 6th Street its safe to say that this has changed. Now, all you have to do is head down to The Rattle Inn and wait for all of Ray’s friends to show up. Consequently, that’s bound to happen.