HISTORY OF PECAN STREET
Likely Texas’ best known street, the seven block’s of 6th Street between Congress and IH 35 are certainly Austin’s entertainment center. With a little help from it’s many like-minded sister streets, 6th Street is the heart of Austin’s live entertainment scene and the capital of third coast music.
When Edwin Waller designed Austin’s street grid, he named north-south streets after Texas rivers and recommended numeric designations for east-west streets. Instead, they were named after trees. That decision was later reversed, and they were renamed with numbers. Though Pecan Street became Sixth Street, the festival honors its original name.
Sixth Street (formerly known as Pecan Street) is lined with many historical houses and commercial buildings dating from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The storied old buildings now house numerous bars, a host of live entertainment venues, tattoo parlors, art galleries, casual cafes, upscale restaurants, and the elegant Driskill Hotel. Live music of every genre abounds. From jazz, blues, and country to rock, hip-hop, beat, progressive, metal, punk and derivations of these, there’s something to whet everyone’s musical pallete. Great food is a staple on Sixth Street, featuring such regional staples as chili, ribs, and Tex-Mex plus steak, seafood, cajun-cooking, and deli.
Sixth Street draws an eclectic bunch including endless streams of mostly single UT students, the YUP’s, the burb’s, some interesting street folk,and lot’s of out of town visitors. It’s not uncommon to spy some celebrity type taking in the sights on 6th. From film folk to politicians, to music men and women, Sixth Street rubs elbows well. Dress code, yeah right. You’ll see cowboys and punks, surfers and suits. On Halloween anything goes, and during Mardi Gras, everything goes !
Going West from the entertainment area, West Sixth Street offers another suprise with antique stores, art galleries, hair salons, restaurants, and lot’s of eclectic shops.
Sixth Street is Austin’s entertainment showpiece, and deservedly so. Great events like the Pecan Street Festival, SXSW, The Republic of Texas Bikers Rally, and Sixth’s Street infamous Halloween celebration all make for great times with great people.