They say music brings people together; it allows us to experience the same emotions and reveals that no matter what we wear, how we have our hair, or what our political opinions are, we are the same heart and spirit. You add comfort food to the mix, then we are all just one big happy family.
Such is the case of Threadgill’s rich history. It all started in 1933 when a man named Kenneth Treadgill opened a Gulf filling station and stood in line all night to be the first person to own a liquor license in the newly “wet” Travis County. Soon enough, the filling station became a hot spot for traveling musicians as they were paid in beer and were free to drink, gamble and jam all hours of the day and night (putting Austin on the map as Live Music Capital of the World). Person’s of all walks of life were welcomed with open arms. The result was a mash up of musical history. (“It was here that Janis Joplin developed her country and blues hybrid-styled voice that would blur the lines between country and rock n’ roll.”)
In 1974, tragedy struck Kenneth Threadgill when his wife Mildred died, and he decided to close his club. Eventually, the owner of the Armadillo World Headquarters, “a sister venue of a kindred spirit,” Eddie Wilson, purchased Threadgill’s. But instead of keeping it just a club, he decided to make Treadgill’s a Southern style restaurant.
Today, Threadgill’s World Headquarters stands on the corner of Riverside and Barton Springs, next to where the original Armadillo Headquarters once stood. Offering live music in the Beer Garden, home cookin’ and the wonderful “Southern hospitality” Threadgill’s is still bringing people together, revealing that we are all of the same heart and spirit.