Fraternities hang up banners to #SaveDirty’s

Sophia Kurz, News Reporter

Dirty Martin’s Place has faced potential closure due to The City of Austin’s Project Connect since the spring but fraternities around West Campus continue to rally together in support of the nearly 100-year-old business. 

Project Connect is a multibillion-dollar transit initiative that hopes to eliminate vehicle traffic with light rails on Guadalupe Street as well as around the city. Project Connect’s Orange Line will require the demolition of several local businesses, including Dirty Martin’s. In light of this, some fraternities in West Campus have hung banners in front of their houses, bearing the phrase “#SaveDirty’s.”

“It was kind of an accident,” said Lindsey Powell, bar and marketing manager at Dirty Martin’s. “We’d been planning to put (the banners) on our own fences since we put those fences up relatively recently … (we) spent a good hour trying to figure out how to hang them and we were having a hard time.” 

Powell said some students in fraternities at UT came to assist the Dirty Martin’s employees to hang up the banners, but when unsuccessful, the students asked to hang the banner up at their fraternity house. 

So far, there have been at least three fraternities that have hung up the #SaveDirty’s banners — Zeta Psi, Sigma Chi and Delta Sigma Phi.

“We’ve had (members) work there for years now,” said Albert Perez, president of Delta Sigma Phi, Eta chapter and public relations senior. “We were already talking about it, like, ‘Man, this is kind of crazy with the city and everything and what’s happening there,’ and now you have Cain & Abel’s that’s also going through (something) similar.”

Perez said Dirty Martin’s is a staple for students and a part of West Campus’ culture. Dirty Martin’s provides a place for students to socialize, Perez said, so Delta Sigma Phi wanted to find a way to give back. 

“It all ties back to ‘Well you guys do a lot for us, how can we do something for you?’” Perez said. “Right now, it’s just something as simple as a banner. If the city does go to something more serious, then we’ll take more serious actions, but we just see (it) as, ‘How do we spread awareness as much as possible?’”    

Daniel Young, general manager of Dirty Martin’s, said Dirty Martin’s is an “old school place” and hanging up banners is their “old school” marketing technique. 

“We want to be the campus place … that’s my dream,” Young said “I know how diverse UT is, and I want everyone to feel like this is their place. I’m willing to pass out these ‘Save Dirty’s’ banners to any organization that was willing to hang them, I would be very appreciative.”