Texas Steampunks

Texas Steampunks & Neo-Victorians

Short notice, but the Bar Rescue program on Spike TV will be the makeover of the Headhunter bar in Austin to Steampunk.


That's tonight --

Sunday, 17Feb13 at 9:00 pm


Unfortunately the ad for the show looked like a train wreck, so this might be a total horror story.... But it should still be interesting.




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darn it I missed it!!!

Did anyone see the show?

How was it? What happened?  Is it a place to go to for Steampunks?

I caught the show and it was... disquieting.

Headhunters was a  festering hellhole.

Metal and Brass looks kind of like an almost-Steampunk place with a couple of interesting cocktails.

The real problem there is an owner who is paralyzed by his own inadequacies and in denial of his  incompetence.

I'd say the place is worth a visit, but do it soon -- before it slides back into the pit.


I'm not from Austin, so I have some comments and questions about this. 

I was so excited to see a steampunk bar get put in, but horrified that it was THIS bar with THIS owner/manager.  I was hoping that his attitude was all a front for the show and that he would really run the bar well, but the end of the show had a little blurb about ALL the employees looking for new jobs, so I don't think it went - and is going - well at all.  I checked basic local bar scene info and it appears that this place is still running in the same manner it was before, only this time, with the steampunk sign and interior design.

One, it's a shame that the great name of steampunk has to be associated with this kind of place and I wish there were some way of making him lose the steampunk association, but I'm afraid that sign will stay up until it falls off from rot.

My next comment is this.  From this post, it sort of sounds like the steampunk community in Austin was taken by surprise by this tv episode.  Now, I don't know how these kinds of tv shows work, so maybe it all really was a surprise, but it seems to me that they film these shows several months in advance and this is an actual, real location within the city of Austin, so I'm suprised that the Austin steamers hadn't heard about it.  Does anyone know how this show managed to keep this bar/tv show secret from the local steamers?

Which leads to another question.  If the local Austin steamers hadn't heard about it, where did the show get all the steampunks that they used for the final renovated bar scene?  Are they... like actors or something, that they ship in just for the show?  They were dressed really well, but if that's the case, I'm more than a little disappointed in the show now.  I know all these shows are faked to some degree, but I, at least, thought they used real locals for the patronage.......

Some interesting questions there....

It seems that the 'Bar Rescue' folks keep it pretty much secret while they're doing their thing: at the very least they don't advertise it.

The whole process seems to take about a week with the last 36 hours a massive/intense physical renovation of the premises.   But that's where it gets sketchy....  It takes weeks to line up an architect, interior designer, make plans, gather and prep materials, hire builders, etc.  (It's scary they didn't mention overhauling the restrooms considering that the rest of the bar was that bad...)

Allegedly the staff doesn't know what the bar will become until the 'unveiling' and in the case of 'Metal & Lace' probably thought it was a gay biker bar until Steampunk was mentioned.  ;)

The word that the bar was going Steam only went out a couple of days before the opening (as far as I know) and too late to effectively spread the info.

The Spike TV show wasn't advertised until a couple of days before the show actually aired (it was pure luck that I saw the ad at all) and I posted the info as soon as I had the details.  It was also clear from the content that the ads were for the 'reality tv' audience rather than the Steamfolk expected to patronize the place.

As to the Steamfolk present for the opening, there's a fairly large population in this area that doesn't communicate particularly efficiently (a bunch of smaller groups of friends and some outside-Austin outliers such as myself) so if one group gets the info then it takes some time to percolate into the general environment.  I think that's mostly why the Steam turnout was so small.


I disagree with some of your points there, JJ. I will agree that a lot of things regarding this "makeover" and the show were sketchy. I've since learned from someone working there that the whole cockroach in the liquor scene was staged to create drama. None the less, I am dissuaded from visiting.

A large portion of the Austin steampunk community has regular communication through a Facebook group. I know not everyone loves Facebook, and they shouldn't, but the ability to stay in contact with people, and promote events there make it currently the best tool for the job. Sam Tyler was contacted by Bar Rescue some weeks before and shared information with the group as much as she was allowed by the show. They were trying to keep the reveal secret as long as possible. This is why there were so many of us at the opening. This was no small group lined up around the block to get in for two or three hours. There were no actors. I can pick out most of the faces on the show personally. 

Sadly, its still a crappy bar. Elysium just a block down the street has been far more welcoming, and Shiner Saloon on Congress is pretty happy to see us too. Sherlocks is also a really supportive. Leather and Lace hasn't done anything for the SP community. They just put up a sign.


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