It seems like this is a trend happening all over our beloved Austin. Small, locally owned businesses closing and being torn down/relocating in favor of an upscale, high-rise project. We see it happening on South Lamar, Downtown, and now on Rainey Street.

The Lustre Pearl, called “The Rainey St. Bar That Started It All” is popular with everyone from laid-back professionals to hipsters. It’s old world/shabby chic décor mixed with its large (dog friendly) back porch make for a super relaxing spot to socialize. Taking it's place next spring will be a massive retail and residential development that will transform Rainey Street.

The development is spearheaded by the Dinerstein Group (of Houston) and will feature 250 apartments and a ground floor restaurant, totaling about 250,000 square feet. The development, likely to be called Millenium Rainey is expected to break ground by the second quarter of 2014.

Bridget Dunlap, the owner of Lustre Pearl, plans to move the current historic building to a different location. She owns two other spots on Rainey – Clive and Bar 96, which will not be affected by the new development. While the new condos should bring lots more business to the remaining Rainey Street bars, I hope it won’t be at the cost of Rainey Streets unique atmosphere.