Austin Landmarks on the Menu

Dirty Martin's Place

2808 Guadalupe, 512/477-3173,
Daily, 11am-11pm
Austin Landmarks on the Menu

Dirty Martin's Place

2808 Guadalupe, 477-3173
Daily, 11am-11pm

Conventional wisdom dictates that the name of your restaurant should suggest style, taste, and, above all, safety. Blue Water: good. Muddy Water: bad. And Dirty's? Well, that's just askin' for disaster. But if conventional wisdom had been heeded, Dirty's wouldn't have survived as a fixture of Austin and the campus area for 80-some years. Since 1926, when John Martin opened it as a drive-through with eight indoor stools, burgers made of fresh meat have kept students and civilians fed. The moniker "Dirty's" was bestowed on the joint on account of the dirt floor that was in place until concrete was poured in 1951; 57 years and a couple of remodels later, the name still sticks. Remodel in Dirty's world doesn't mean installing terrazzo tile and polished nickel fixtures. More like removing the wall that separated the original restaurant from the gas station (and later bar). This expansion upped the seating from the original eight stools, and it's in this form that the restaurant operates to this day. Guadalupe isn't drive-through-friendly these days, with condominiums casting shadows over Dirty's and making the thoroughfare something of a concrete canyon. But Dirty's survives and thrives in its original location sans carhops.

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