The Parish for Sale … on eBay
Bidding starts at $1
By Kevin Curtin,
8:00AM, Wed. Nov. 29, 2017
Sixth Street’s live, original music mainstay the Parish is being put up for auction on eBay.
The online offering, beginning Friday at noon and lasting for 10 days, gives the highest bidder ownership of the Parish brand and a 12-year lease with two five-year options on the 5,300-square-foot second story space at 214 E. Sixth. Owner Doug Guller says he decided to sell the club using eBay because he had such a good experience when he auctioned Schroeder Hall, a vintage dancetaria near Victoria, on the site in April. It sold for $499,700.
“When Schroeder Hall ended up in the hands of Linda Krause, a resident of Victoria, I knew it couldn’t have gone to a better person or family,” said Guller via phone on Tuesday. “She’d been going to Schroeder Hall since she was a child, loved music, and had the ability to invest in it and keep it around for many years.”
The Parish opened in 2003 in a concert space formerly known as the Mercury. Guller, whose ATX Brands counts the Bikini’s breastaurant chain among its assets, has owned the club for eight years, during which it’s been largely a destination venue for ticketed roadshows. Recently he’s divested from his music holdings, selling the Scoot Inn to big-time concert promoters C3 Presents/Live Nation in July. Austin music insiders say he’s been shopping the Parish since the beginning of the year.
“C3 may or may not be the winning bidder, I have no idea. They haven’t given me any indication,” Guller admits. “The way I’m selling it, I think it creates a level playing field for everyone and it gets the word out to all music fans. If I was listing it through a broker, it would just go out to the people on their list and be very singular.
“The Parish is such a gem that I think it could end up in the hands of a die-hard music fan whose lifelong dream has been to own a venue. Then they can pull their resources together and make their dream a reality.”
Auctioning it to the highest bidder risks the venue being sold to someone who has no interest in its cultural value or being a steward for Austin’s music scene. It could end up being a high-end shoe store.
“I don’t think that would happen,” says Guller. “I guess I’m relying on what has happened with the other two venues I’ve sold this year. I really believe that Scoot Inn and Schroeder Hall have ended up with people that are going to make each place better from a fan's perspective and a band’s perspective.”