Like most of Austin's favorite live music nightspots, the Continental's owner is more often than not in attendance, meaning great pride is always taken in the club's image and development. Steve Wertheimer is the dapper gentleman with Buddy Holly glasses and silver hair, always looking for an excuse for a Continental occasion. That may be why both Elvis Presley's birth and death are celebrated with big blow-outs, as is Buck Owens' birthday, which, unlike the Elvis bashes, actually attracted the birthday boy one year. The Continental is also a big fave of celebs from Chris Isaak to Quentin Tarantino to Sandra Bullock, while Austinites like Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Charlie Sexton, and Ian McLagan make stargazing especially fun, since the club has no real VIP area.
What sets the Continental Club apart from other live music venues in town is its incredible happy hours, especially the near-legendary SRO Tuesday shows with Toni Price and her stellar cast of sidemen. Price, a genuine down-home diva, holds court with her ever-funky musical repertoire as vintage cars line the street out front and folks dressed to the nines crowd the dance floor. In the evenings, local favorites such as Jon Dee Graham, Alejandro Escovedo, Dale Watson, Charlie Robison, Cornell Hurd, Monte Warden, the Damnations, Kelly Willis, Bruce Robison, Junior Brown, and 81/2 Souvenirs keep things singing and swinging.
In the years since the Continental Club opened its doors, many businesses around it have adopted its unpretentious retro-cool look. In fact, South Congress has one of the fastest growing trendy shopping areas in the city, just steps from the club's doorway, where vintage clothing stores specialize in that Continental look. Good thing, too. At the Continental, style just comes naturally.