UPDATE: The reopening of Lala’s is now being postponed for mid to late next week due to permitting issues.
The Christmas spirit will continue to deck the walls at Lala’s North Austin bar, which is reopening on Friday under new ownership.
Partners Matt Luckie, Max Moreland and Anngay Tenney of Mean Eyed Cat, Gibson Street Bar and Lavaca Street Bar, along with Stubb’s Bar-B-Q’s Ryan Garrett and Mike Levine, are only changing the look of the longtime bar a little, with plans to gradually open up the space and add a patio. Plus, barbecue eventually coming from Stubb’s will help you wash down a Bloody Mary or two.
“We’re in the business of keeping these Austin hangouts as the best versions of themselves,” making sure they’re “not replaced with condos,” Moreland, who was also in charge of last year’s Mean Eyed Cat renovation, said in a press release. “Lala’s has been an Austin institution for a long time and we want to make sure it remains the great neighborhood bar it always has been.”
That means that, yes, the same cheerful holiday lights, tinsel and vintage Christmas decorations that original owner Frances Lala continued to hang up after the holidays of 1972, shortly after she opened her eponymous bar, will remain in place there.
Moreland and his business partners bought the 43-year-old bar when two neighborhood regulars of Lala’s, including Kelly Chappel, realized their beloved local haunt was at risk of closing down.
“We saw the way the team updated Mean Eyed Cat,” Chappel said in the release. “It still reflects the best of the place but is better, and we hoped to maintain the flavor of Lala’s in a similar way. So regulars note: The Bloody Mary will not be changing.”
Lala’s is at 2207 Justin Ln., near the corner of Burnet Road. Once reopened, Lala’s will be open seven days a week from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.