From the Episode: The Legacy of Austin’s Legendary Broken Spoke

[Update: We are so very sorry to hear of the passing of Broken Spoke owner James White, who died from heart-related issues on January 24, 2021. Rest in peace, James. And thanks so much for the music, the dancing, the cold beer, the good times and the memories. Long live the Broken Spoke!]

It is one of our favorite places in Austin, no doubt! Not just because it’s a bona-fide beer-drinkin’ two-steppin’ Texas honkytonk, but also because the Broken Spoke is still alive and kickin’ in the face of all the slick, high-end and high fallutin’ development that has washed over Austin in waves for more than a decade now.

When James White opened the Spoke more than half a century ago on Austin’s South Lamar Boulevard, it was little more than a dusty roadhouse out on the edge of town. These days, South Lamar is among the many neighborhoods in Austin that you might consider epicenters of Austin’s glassy and glossy 21st-century upgrade. And while many of the city’s iconic venues have fallen victim to the passage of time and the building of high-rises and the skyrocketing cost of living and doing business in Austin, the Broken Spoke still sits there proudly on South Lamar, surrounded on all sides by “new Austin”, and giving the proverbial finger to not just the encroaching development itself, but to the notion that what we all think of as “modern progress” is an unconditionally positive affair. Indeed some things are best left untouched, unchanged and unspoiled by modern hands and modern ways of thinkin’. The Spoke is absolutely one of them.

It’s one of the big reasons we love this place, and wanted to make sure to include the story of the Spoke in our first-ever Austin episode. And here it is! Enjoy! And if you’re ever down in the heart of Texas, don’t pass up a chance to kick up your heels at the Broken Spoke for an evening. And say howdy to Mr. White and the gang for us!

Cheers y’all. And thanks as always for watching!

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  1. Part of Austin’s history…reposting this!

  2. Rick Delaney

    Is this episode available for purchase on dvd?

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