Victory Grill

1104 E 11th St
Austin TX  78702

Phone: (512) 472-3700

Victory Grill

Austin’s Historic Victory Grill

Victory Grill is a historic music venue located at 1104 E. 11th St, Austin, Texas. The nightclub was on the Chitlin’ Circuit and hosted famous African American acts such as Bobby Bland, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, W. C. Clark and B. B. King when Austin was legally segregated. Victory Grill was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 16, 1998.

Johnny Holmes, a booking agent and band manager, opened the Victory Grill on Victory over Japan Day, 1945 as a restaurant and bar for black soldiers returning from the war. In the segregated south of the 1940′s, these servicemen could not walk into just any place to have a beer. The first incarnation of the Victory was a small “lean-to” building, but Holmes soon moved to a larger building next door.

Holmes was also familiar with both the burgeoning Texas blues and jazz scenes, and soon, the club became known for its music as well as its food and drink. The club began attracting music lovers, no matter what their race. During its heyday in the 1950s, most of the popular national blues, rhythm and blues, and jazz acts that played Austin performed at the Victory Grill. Ike & Tina Turner, James Brown, Etta James, Billie Holiday, Chuck Berry and Janis Joplin were some of the artists who graced the stage. A resident of the area later quoted, “The Street was so crowded you could barely walk. It
was like New Orleans.”

Holmes leased the Victory Grill out in 1952, while he traveled to West Texas and then Alaska. When he returned in 1965, he was shocked at how much the area had declined. Integration had allowed affluent blacks to move to the suburbs. Also with desegregation, the Chitlin’ Circuit ceased to exist, as acts that were once confined to the Victory could now play many other venues. These two factors led to declining attendance and forced Holmes to close the nightclub portion of the Victory in the mid-1970s. Holmes kept the restaurant portion open, as the Victory’s food was still special enough to be a big draw.

On Juneteenth weekend of 1987, East 11th came alive with music again at a large reunion bash that brought many of the Victory’s former musicians and fans together again. The Victory Grill closed for a period of time after October 10, 1988, when it suffered major damage from a fire that spread from an adjoining vacant building.

Many movements and fundraisers were held in the following years to get the Victory Grill back open, but most met with tepid response at best. Finally, in 1995, R.V. Adams, a friend of Holmes began restoration efforts and the club re-opened in 1996. This initiated a cultural rebirth of the area, which had become a casualty of urban blight.

The historic Victory Grill is one of the last remaining original Chitlin’ Circuit juke joints. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, archived by the Texas Historic Commission, and dubbed a “Texas Treasure” by the statewide organization Preservation Texas. It stands as an artifact to the development of a distinct American music tradition. The Victory Grill is experiencing a restoration that will bridge the era of the Chitlin’ Circuit to today’s urban contemporary sounds. The restoration and preservation of this working juke joint and café will provide performance opportunities and educational events that link past African-American musical forms and culture with the present.

Under the new management of Another Option Productions and with booking and preservation assistance from Capitol View Arts, the Historic Victory Grill is now open for self-produced/private events, educational opportunities and cultural tourism.

Show Map Website

Business Information


Parking: Street, Parking Lot

Categories: American Restaurant, Cafe, Food & Restaurant, Landmark, Restaurant




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Past Events

AIPP Pre-Qualified Artist Pool Information Meeting

AIPP Pre-Qualified Artist Pool Information Meeting
07:00 pm - 12/14/2017

At Victory Grill

Emerging and Established Public Artists! Come learn about this opportunity to be pre-qualified to create public art for Austin! publicartist.org/austinaipp/ The...

East Austin Studio Tour (EAST)

East Austin Studio Tour (EAST)
10:00 pm - 11/11/2017

At Victory Grill

East Austin Studio Tour is just around the corner and Capitol View Arts would like to invite you to its activities during the 2017 Tour. For the fifth year now,...

The Historic Victory Grill Clean Up

The Historic Victory Grill Clean Up
05:00 pm - 10/19/2017

At Victory Grill

Come out TODAY and help us clean up the outdoor space of the Victory Grill! Lets take care of this historic pillar in the East Austin community! Bring gloves, trash...

Sandra Bland Remembrance

Sandra Bland Remembrance
07:00 pm - 07/13/2017

At Victory Grill

Sandra Bland was a beautiful spirit, arrested and detained for a nonjailable offense. She was found dead July 13th 2015 in a Waller County Jail. Every year we will...

Lawrence "Pickle" Parrish

Lawrence "Pickle" Parrish
09:00 pm - 05/06/2017

At Victory Grill

Another Option Productions, Counter Balance: ATX & Austin LOC Presents a Showcase Fundraiser benefiting Lawrence Parrish on Saturday May 6th, at Historic Victory...

Christmas w/ Kris KeyZ

Christmas w/ Kris KeyZ
03:00 pm - 12/03/2016

At Victory Grill

First Saturdays Presents: Christmas w/ KeyZ Kris KeyZ will host First Saturdays December 3rd. This is an all ages free concert showcasing some of Austin's Finest...

Victory Lap: Official East Closing Party

Victory Lap: Official East Closing Party
07:00 pm - 11/20/2016

At Victory Grill

Join us at the Historic Victory Grill for the official closing celebration of the East Austin Studio Tour! Enjoy an evening of live art, live music, comedy, storytelling...

Ultimate Louisiana Party - Blues & Cultural Festival

Ultimate Louisiana Party - Blues & Cultural Festival
02:00 pm - 03/13/2016

At Victory Grill

Come out and enjoy the Ultimate Louisiana Party, at the historic Victory Grill during SXSW, featuring local bands, regional bands and national touring acts. Two...

Ultimate Louisiana Party - Blues & Cultural Festival

Ultimate Louisiana Party - Blues & Cultural Festival
12:00 pm - 03/12/2016

At Victory Grill

Come out and enjoy the Ultimate Louisiana Party, at the historic Victory Grill during SXSW, featuring local bands, regional bands and national touring acts. Two...

Ultimate Louisiana Party - Blues & Cultural Festival

Ultimate Louisiana Party - Blues & Cultural Festival
06:00 pm - 03/11/2016

At Victory Grill

Come out and enjoy the Ultimate Louisiana Party, at the historic Victory Grill during SXSW, featuring local bands, regional bands and national touring acts. Two...

HOLIDAY GET TOGETHER

HOLIDAY GET TOGETHER
07:00 pm - 12/15/2015

At Victory Grill

You are cordially invited to the annual end of the year holiday party to celebrate our 2015 accomplishments and also show our gratitude to all of our supporters....

Celebrating 30 years with a dance/party!

Celebrating 30 years with a dance/party!
09:00 pm - 10/24/2015

At Victory Grill

allgo's 30 Year Dance Party Celebration! Saturday, October 24, 2015 9pm-1am Victory Grill 1104 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702 18+ $5-$15 (suggested sliding scale donation)...

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