Club Deville (RIP)

900 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78701
Established: 1997

Written by: Dan Murray

Club DeVille is the musician’s hideout. Away from the herds on 6th Street and just down Red River Street from Stubb’s, the DeVille is a refuge of sorts, “a place…on Sunday through Tuesday where the musicians go when they are not playing music,” DeVille’s production manager, Will Rhodes, says. It’s not uncommon to see celebrities drop in unannounced.

The DeVille isn’t much, and it’s got a whole lot going for it, at the same time. For 15 years the club’s location has been marked roadside by a vintage-looking sign with its signature logo and crown. The interior holds just the bar, a small stage and a few chairs; the action is on the surrounding patio and focused on an attractively lit limestone cliff that backs the stage. “We have a little natural amphitheater with our rock wall,” Will says. “People always come back to play here because of the great sound.” The bar is also known for its stock of Texas beer, loyalty to classic cocktails, conversations with the bartender, and is dog friendly.

Testimony to Club DeVille’s unique limestone wall is a list of past performers that includes Deerhunter, who packed the place, Polyphonic Spree, who filled the stage, The Black Lips, Men Without Hats, The Hold Steady, Kurt Vile, and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony—DeVille does not draw lines at genres. “Also, we do a re-creation of The Last Waltz every Sunday before Thanksgiving, and that is usually the most fun night of the year, with all local musicians playing the parts of The Band and all the special guests,” Will adds.

Everyone at the bar, staff and patrons, seem to be involved in music in some way or another. Most of DeVille’s staff play in bands or are married to musicians: Will explains, “it’s not only our love, but our love for it carries over into what we book.” He goes on, “We want people to feel the same way as when we are working, which is always have fun. We are having fun working here. You couldn’t have a better job, and hopefully that carries on into our patrons’ experience. Plus, a great sound experience in a very cool and unique venue, whether the show is inside or outside. Everyone who works here started at the door, and that has created a very cool sense of family here and we want that to spill out to our customers.”

“It has always been an artists’ hang-out and a nice, dark-lit place to drink.” Will Rhodes