Threadgill’s Upstairs Store for Rent

Owners seek contributors to “cultural petri dish”

“People have asked me the same question every day for decades: ‘What’s that place back there?’” So reveals Threadgill’s owner Eddie Wilson about the two-story, corrugated steel building behind his North Lamar restaurant, also known as Old No. 1. “Now you can rent ol’ ‘What’s that place back there?’”

An exterior shot of the upstairs store behind Threadgill’s Ol’ No. 1 (Photo By David Brendan Hall)

Eddie and his wife Sandra have resolved to lease out the second-story, roughly 2,600-square-foot room that’s alternatively been dubbed “the upstairs store” or “the banquet space” since the building was erected in the early Eighties. The larger structure was designed to illustrate Theadgill’s history via its design as a combination filling station and beer joint.

The space, complete with hardwood flooring and an antique bar, has never before been commercially available, but Wilson says it’s been “the scene of a whole lot of parties” over the years. Mostly it acted as his speakeasy, but those four walls once hosted the BBC filming a performance by the late Doug Sahm and Gary P. Nunn. Recently, an editor stayed there while working on a forthcoming Armadillo World Headquarters documentary. Wilson’s incredible collection of beer signs, concert posters, and cultural items resided there before being sold at auction in 2015.

“It has to be something in the best interest of our cultural petri dish,” he notes of prospective tenants.

Which is to say that he hopes to rent to someone who understands and perhaps echoes the Armadillo World Headquarters attitude. The upstairs store could easily function as an art gallery, an intimate venue, record shop, a creative workplace, or office space for a music business. It would make a killer apartment for a musician save for the fact there’s no shower.

That’s why “Playback” has taken on this real estate listing, to help connect the Wilsons with renters who are part of the local music community and need a sweet space to operate in. The proprietors hope to land someone who appreciates the big room in the back of 6416 N. Lamar as-is, including the impossibly heavy antique safe that’s in there. Sandra says the space is available immediately.

Interested parties can reach out to her at

Photo by David Brendan Hall

Photo by David Brendan Hall

Photo by David Brendan Hall

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Threadgill's, Eddie Wilson, Sandra Wilson, Doug Sahm, Gary P. Nunn, Armadillo World Headquarters, Threadgill’s Old No. 1

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