Cactus to close temporarily for construction

Rachel Thompson

Local Austin musician Matt the Electrician will perform at Cactus Cafe’s last concert on Dec. 10 before the venue closes briefly for construction over the winter break.

The cafe is set to close on Dec. 15 and will reopen on Jan. 17. KUT Radio and Cactus Cafe spokeswoman Amy Chambless said the first show after reopening will take place on Jan. 27.

Located off of Guadalupe Street in the Texas Union Building, Cactus Cafe serves as a popular bar and a much-loved music venue, according to the University Union’s website. Since its opening in 1979, the Cactus has provided live acoustic performances and has made a name for itself as a savvy space that promotes new artists and brings back respected ones. Cactus performers have included the Dixie Chicks, Ani DiFranco, Alison Krauss, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Patty Griffin.

The construction is part of a larger project taking place in the Union that includes putting in sprinklers and installing new wood floors in the ballrooms, said Lisa Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Hospitality Center. She said the changes taking place shouldn’t deter students from using the Union as they normally would.

Johnson said the Eastwoods Room is the only room that will remain open during renovations. “That room will still have coffee and donuts for students and be available for study use.”

Johnson said while the cafe and parts of the Union will close temporarily, the construction shouldn’t weigh in too heavily on students’ study and eating habits.

“The only major thing is there won’t be student organization meetings here, but thanks to the [Student Activity Center], there will be plenty of places for them to meet,” Johnson said. “There will still be places to eat and there will still be places to study.”

Despite the construction around the Union and the brief closing of the Cactus Cafe, Pam Martinez of the Executive Director’s Office said she encourages students to visit the venue after it reopens.

“It’s a very eclectic setting. It’s very intimate when the musicians are performing,” Martinez said. “I would absolutely recommend it to UT students.”

Printed on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 as: Cactus Cafe temporarily closes to address needed renovations