Here's some bad news, although it could have been worse. I heard a rumor that the Ginger Man, one of Downtown's coolest bars and an utterly magnificent (effcellent?) beer bar will be shut down and replaced with condos. Turns out it's true. The change is not too immediate – their lease doesn't run out until April 2009 – but ugh. I'm all for densifying Downtown and encouraging people to live there instead of the sprawling suburbs, but isn't part of the deal to also have great ground-floor retail? So why can't some of that ground floor stuff include great brewpubs/beer bars? I'm told that the cool old building is to be demolished; I'm still looking into that, and plan to report on it for the Chronicle.
But here's the good news, or at least the not-quite-so-bad news: The Ginger Man company plans to stay in business in Austin (they also have locations in Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth). The manager told me they are looking for another location, hopefully downtown.
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