Petition to designate Hole in the Wall as historical site gains traction

Nashwa Bawab

A UT professor started a petition Friday to preserve Hole in the Wall as a historical site which has garnered signatures from more than 2,500 people.

Haydon Hoodoo, a bartender at the establishment, said the petition gained popularity after it was announced that Hole in the Wall could be leaving Guadalupe Street after 41 years of live music and service. The land owner is raising the rent to a price too high for any local bar owner to pay, according to Hoodoo.

“They’re looking for a national chain to come in and take over,” Hoodoo said. “They’re the only people who could afford a new raised rent.”

Radio-television-film senior Nick Hossenlopp said Hole in the Wall could stay open if the petition receives enough signatures.

“Austin is the place that fosters small bands and brings them into the spotlight, and that’s why I signed the petition,” Hossenlopp said. “I feel like all of the low-key venues in Austin … like the small bars–they need to continue to exist, and they need to thrive so that smaller bands can continue to get a following and notoriety.”

Sarah Peters, a regular at the bar, said Hole in the Wall should be saved because no other place in Austin has the same type of history and culture.

“There is no other bar like it in Austin, let alone anywhere near here,” Peters said. “History has actually happened here — like people became famous because they got to play in Austin at this bar and coming here is honestly a big part of my life. Even if I don’t want to drink, I know there is someone who cares about me, and there are good people who work here and come here.”

Closing day will be Dec. 30 if the petition does not work, according to Laurel Lee, bartender and shift manager at Hole in the Wall. Lee said she does not know if the petition will work, but if it does, it could mean keeping a job at the best place she has ever worked.

“I’ve never worked for an establishment that was so kind to me and so kind to their costumers, and it would be a very sad thing to see this place disappear because it’s an Austin landmark,” Lee said. “It would mean the world to me if it stayed open, and if it closed down, it would be pretty detrimental to my life.”