1308 East 4th Street
Austin, TX 78702
Hours: Daily 6pm-2am
Written by: Lucas Owens
The Scoot Inn or simply, The Scoot, is one of the oldest standing bars in Texas and has been an east side mainstay in Austin since 1871. Once a criminal hideout, The Scoot has tuned up its reputation from harboring fugitives to hosting one of the most eclectic and consistent music schedules in Austin.
A quarter mile east of downtown, The Scoot is located in the middle of a residential neighborhood where it stands out as an architectural relic of a rougher time. Upon entering the bar you’re immediately greeted with the distinct sound of boots slapping against the scarred plywood flooring. The room is wrapped in smoke-aged burgundy and gold wallpaper, giving way only to the bar and skeeball lanes to the right of the entrance. The performance areas are: inside, on a small, slightly raised platform, caddy corner to the bar; and outside, on modern covered stage in the newly renovated and expansive Bier Garten.
The Scoot has hosted a variety of talented artists such as Spoon, Talib Kweli, Sister Nancy, the Butthole Surfers, The Mother Truckers, and the Rebirth Brass Band. In 2011, The Scoot became famous for hosting a secret show during Austin’s famed SXSW festival, when a member of the psych hip-hop outfit, Odd Future, dove into the crowd from the top of the outdoor stage.
Back in the day, The Scoot Inn was originally a haven for weary railroad workers and those who lived in the surrounding area. In the 1940s, the bar was purchased by two rowdy locals named Scoot and Red, thus the reason the bar was coined Red’s Scoot Inn. In the 80s, the bar become known for the hard drugs filling the pockets of its patrons. “The east side of Austin was a different place back then,” says Rufus Raxlen, current production manager and booking agent at the venue. In 2003, as the East Side began attracting a younger, more art conscious crowd, The Scoot mended its ways and began its development as a destination venue for both concert goers and musicians alike.
On Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays The Scoot is home to a burgeoning bar sport in Austin called Brewskee-ball. Originally started by a friend of The Scoot in Brooklyn, NY, Brewskee-ball is a surprisingly skillful team sport, which requires, you guessed it, beer and skeeball, a manual arcade game. On the nights without shows or league games you’ll find the local pedicab drivers and a collection of neighborhood locals downing a few beers after work. Regaled as a historic war hero in the Austin bar scene, The Scoot wears its antiquity like a badge of honor, holding stories of yesteryear and offering some of today’s best musical acts.