Best Roll With the Development Punches

Chris Marsh of the Mean-Eyed Cat

In 2004, when Chris Marsh left behind his job waiting tables at the popular Maudie's Tex-Mex Cafe on Lake Austin Boulevard, it was bittersweet for his faithful customers – they were sad he was leaving the enchiladas behind, but excited about his new venture: opening a small Johnny Cash shrine/bar in the old Cut-Rite chainsaw shack on West Fifth. When he opened, there was just the 300-year-old tree on one side and train tracks on the other (leaving plenty of room for a stage for a popular Mean-Eyed SXSW day party venue). Now, just five years later, the tree and tracks are still there, but the land has all developed around him. Real estate and a commercial plaza dwarf what used to be open space for Mean-Eyed fans. But Marsh is a roll-with-the-punches guy – the space may be shrinking, but with the good beer and music (now on a strategically placed patio stage) Marsh has been able to evolve the funky homage to Cash into a comfortable and popular neighborhood hot spot.

Mean Eyed Cat
1621 W. Fifth, 512/920-6645

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