Devotees of the storied Airport Bar & Grill and the beloved Bernadette's may be in for a shock. While business owner John LaTouf completely stripped down and built back up the old building that housed both of those watering holes, he's managed to maintain the mysterious character that kept folks loyal. We're not talking some cheesy TV show makeover that ignores the context of Austin, either. LaTouf insisted on retaining the bar's feel by reupholstering many of the original booths and bar stools and appointments while upgrading it into a viable live music venue. There are some new touches, but the color scheme is the same, the little paper lanterns still light the bar, and the backyard is still cozy and a smoker's delight. However, now words like "ventilation," "sound system," "air conditioning," "structural integrity," and "no possums" are not just dreams, they are reality. And the new reality is grand, as every time we've visited the Skylark, old regulars from both the Airport Bar and Bernie's seem to coexist peacefully with new neighbors and live music lovers. The only things we recommend? Bring back the weekly Lizzy Caroloke nights, and don't completely rule out some sort of undergarment as ceiling decor.