We are sad to say that we are no longer going to continue, and One-2-One Bar is now for sale.
— August 20 social media post from Gregg & Destinee Ware, owners of Austin’s One-2-One Bar
Even from a thousand miles away, this one hurts.
Boy, was I spoiled. Walking distance. To a bar where they might not know your name but they sure knew your face — and likely your usual order. And offered music with 3 shows nightly of such variety that if you didn’t like the Happy Hour offering, come back for the evening show, or the closer. All 3 acts were going to be great. All 3 acts drew their own audience as well as bringing in new fans. I could walk over there for a show and usually get a ride home from somebody by the end of the show. More than a few friends were made there.
It didn’t look like much. It was in a friggin’ strip shopping center, looking like just another storefront nestled in among the drugstore, coffee shop, and tanning salon. Inside, it looked like an open concrete hangar. Looks can be deceiving, though, and Gregg and Destinee grew the business into a gathering spot as well as a watering hole. Curtains around the stage and expert lighting and sound management overcame any obstacle to great musical experiences. Through the years, they kept getting better & better, refining the seating to enhance the experience, expertly tweaking the sound to each band. Eventually, they started hosting Sunday afternoon exhibits to showcase art created by various Austin musicians as another sign of solidarity with the music community.
Several personal favorites of ours frequented the One-2-One. Our friends, Dave and Annie Ducharme-Jones, had many a great show there, rocking the joint with their band and filling the dance floor with friends. DeadEye, Austin’s Grateful Dead tribute band, brought our local Deadhead tribe together regularly for energetic evenings lasting late into the night. When Sara and I were briefly in Austin back in early March — before the COVID hit the fan — we caught our other favorite Austin band, Beat Root Revival. If we’d stayed the extra week we had originally planned, I would’ve gone to see DeadEye the following Friday night, a final show from them just before the bar had to close for quarantine.
While I’ll never get to set foot in the One-2-One again, the good news is that there are plenty of recorded performances from that stage out there on YouTube and other places. Rather than lament the loss, I’m going to enjoy a bunch of those clips, both my own from my favorites as well as a horde of others available.
Dave & Annie moved away from Austin several months before Sara & I did, so this clip comes from several years ago. These two also supplied the best proof of how at home we could be at the One-2-One. One evening, Dave interrupted a song intro to glance down at his phone on the floor. I heckled him for paying more attention to that than us in the audience. He explained it was an important text — he & Annie had just received word of their first grandchild being born. Right there on stage. And the band played on. Rock & roll will never die…
The One-2-One was also the sort of place where fellow musicians dropped in to sit in and spice up your set. One favorite to find in the audience because he would provide amazing guest vocals was Malford Milligan, here joining the Ducharme-Jones Band along with saxophonist Steve Bernstein for a sizzler of a song, “Talk to Your Daughter.”
Beat Root Revival
Getting to see Beat Root Revival turned out to be quite the highlight of our truncated Austin visit this spring. We arrived early that evening and had a chance to visit Andrea and Ben on the sidewalk out front before they went in for the show, even grabbing some last-minute pre-COVID-precaution hugs from these folks.
Thank you for all of your support over the years, we really could not have done it without you all. Our loyal customers and musicians are really the heart and soul of One-2-One and it’s as much your venue as ours. We will miss spending time with you all and listening to the music.
Much love and always support Local Live Music.
–closing social media comment from Gregg & Destinee
Tonight, the One-2-One will host one final livestreamed show before shutting their doors. Greg & Destinee promise to return to the music scene again, and we wish them well.
Meanwhile, tune in tonight for one last glimpse of another fabled Austin bar now gone but not forgotten. Just check “One-2-One Bar” on YouTube if you doubt that!