- Mid-Century Modern
- Historic Status:
- National Register of Historic Places, Texas Historic Landmark, Austin Landmark
The Continental Club is a historic music venue located in the South Congress neighborhood. The club has a rich history that dates back to the 1950s, when it first opened as a private supper club. Over the years, the club has evolved into one of the most iconic music venues in the city, hosting a variety of live performances ranging from blues and rock to country and jazz.
The building that houses The Continental Club is a classic example of mid-century modern architecture. The exterior of the building features a simple, elegant design defined by clean lines and a minimalist aesthetic embellished with a flamboyant neon sign. The façade is made of concrete and glass, which was a popular (and novel) combination at the time. The interior is just as impressive, with a spacious dance floor, a cozy lounge area, and a well-stocked bar. Neon signs and string lights adorn the deep red walls, while large canvases depicting European destinations establish the venue’s “continental” credentials.
The Continental Club plays a vital role in Austin’s culture. The venue has been a gathering place for musicians, artists, and other creatives since it first opened its doors. The club has also been a launching pad for many local and national acts, including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Ely, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. The Continental Club has also been featured in several movies, including Boyhood and A Scanner Darkly (both directed by local director Richard Linklater), which has helped to raise its profile and attract new patrons. The Club boasts a packed event schedule headlined by local legend and honky-tonk hero Dale Watson.
In addition to its cultural significance, the Continental Club is an important historical landmark. The building was designated a Texas Historic Landmark in recognition of its architectural significance and its contribution to the cultural heritage of Texas. The club was originally built in 1955 by owner Morin Scott, and it has undergone several renovations over the years. In 1987, the club was purchased by Steve Wertheimer, who has since transformed it into one of the most popular music venues in the city. Pop in and join the crowd of two-steppers as they dance the night away in this timeless gem. – Nicolle Landowski, AIA