Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sister's Edge II

Sister's Edge II
Sister's Edge II

Location: 113 San Jacinto Boulevard, Austin, Texas, USA

Opened: November 14, 2009

Closed: June 2010

There was giddy anticipation when Sister's Edge II opened in November 2009:

Cue the Etta James. Now all together, a chorus of “At Last” …

Austin finally boasts a lesbian bar again. How many years has it been? At least dating to the previous incarnation of the now-gone Rainbow Cattle Company. (Which itself switched from gay to straight in less than a week.) There was a great coffee shop, Gaby and Mo’s, on Manor Road that more recently offered music scene at night …

So now the former CP on San Jacinto Street — in that seemingly mothballed block north of the Four Seasons — comes alive as Sister’s Edge 2 …

OK, not the catchiest name, but better than the suggestive word that was, by custom, abbreviated into “CP.” (The numeral recognizes a previous, short-lived lesbian bar at the same location.) And what a relief to see the Edge — my own abbreviation — fill to the rafters with mostly women and their male allies.

Manager Margie Carrisalez is a treat. One of my favorite bartenders, Brenda Leahy, is stationed there. I talked to folks inside and out, and the only discouraging word was a wish for speakers on the patio …

Boy, a big chunk of the gay nightclub scene has changed almost overnight. Larry Davis returned to Oilcan Harry’s, perhaps to breathe some life back into the storied institution. RCC closed completely. Rusty Spurs/Emerald City branded its patio as Colors. We learn that the 21C hotel/residence/museum project is still on for Waller Creek, meaning, yes, Chain Drive will eventually have to move or close. And the Edge now targets the largely ignored lesbian community.

Here's another opening night rave review:

With a grand opening on Saturday, this promised to be the moment we’d been waiting for:  a new bar in our fine city just for the ladies. This new attraction opens at the end of an era—just as Rainbow Cattle Company closes its doors for good. Although RCC was never exclusively for the lez crowd, it was the closest thing we had for years. So how did it do? 

Sister’s Edge II is self-described as “a ladies bar in downtown Austin—where the boys are always welcome.” Located at 113 San Jacinto between 2nd and Cesar Chavez (formerly The Cockpit), Saturday was the big launch party to kick off the new scene. Named after the original, short-lived lesbian bar in Austin in ’97, Sister’s Edge II promised cheap beer, hot music and even hotter ladies.

The beer was cheap, but only if you got the right bartender—no surprise there. Thumbs up overall though! The cocktails were flowing, though, as they packed in the girls. According to their Facebook page, there were over 1500 people there that night (are there that many lesbians in Austin??!). When I first arrived, there were actually quite a few guys clamoring for attention from the bar, but they were soon outnumbered.

The DJ was pretty good (a little light on the hip hop, but I bet DJ Rocky B adapts for next time). The sound system was the biggest hiccup of the evening, so let’s hope they work out the kinks before next weekend.  One of the best parts, I must say, was being on a dance floor without line dancing—loved it!

To the owners of Sister’s Edge II—sending you the best of luck in making this new venue thrive. You have alot of women rooting for you!!

Then we have the shorter evaluations, like this one at clubfly:

Sister's Edge 2 is a lady's nightclub, but boys welcome too. Girl go-go's, DJ, free wi-fi, pool, free parking and patio. Happy hour daily till 9pm (Formerly Cockpit)...

This charming description is from GayCities:

A dive for the ladies
For women looking for a place to relax away from the bright lights of 4th Street, head over to Sister's Edge.

I rather like this one from gaytravel.com:

Sure Austin has a slew of gay bars, but Sisters Edge is a pretty kickin lesbian bar. It’s got zero pretense and is basically just a large air conditioned room with a big bar and a large dance floor, but the Texas ladies are friendly, the drinks are inexpensive, and the DJs spin well. Plus they bring in local queer performers and have a small outside area for smoking and (ahem) some privacy.

Of course, the hardworking Andrew Collins over at about.com also had something to say:

Known by several different names over the years, downtown's Sister's Edge (113 San Jacinto St., 512-457-8010) draws a predominantly women's crowd but welcomes everybody, including plenty of guys (it bills itself a "ladies nightclub where the boys are always welcome"). This space with a rainbow-color facade was called Cockpit before becoming Sister's Edge, and is located close to several hotels but in a quieter and less intense area than the Warehouse District, a few blocks west.

A more extensive account comes from Rachel Naples:

Located deep in the heart of downtown is Austin’s very own Lesbian/ Women’s Bar-- Sister’s Edge II. Driving south on San Jacinto you can’t miss the bar just passed 2nd Street on the left side of the street, sporting an eye-catching rainbow flag painted on the outside wall. If it’s a weekday you will be able to effortlessly find free parking. However, on a Friday or Saturday this may prove to be an arduous task, but well worth the effort!

As you walk in, the bar is immediately a pleasant experience. From the very gracious and welcoming door woman to the hospitable, easy on the eyes bar staff. Not to mention some of the best dance music and beautiful clientele to be seen and heard any night of the week. This is definitely the place for gay or straight women of all ages to come out and dance and get to know one another.
Inspired dancer, Sister's Edge II
Sister’s Edge II offers a bang-up menu of daily events and first-class drink specials. Though closed on Mondays you can be sure to find fun in the hot spot where fun is to be had any other day of the week.
Just to name a few daily events: On Sundays SEII hosts Happy Hour beginning at 4pm with $1 Mimosas and $2 domestics and stick around until 8pm for the Wet T-shirt Contest on the 1st & 3rd Sundays of every month. Also, be sure to check out Sister’s Saturday! You won’t be disappointed with the sexy Go-Go Girls shaking it to the DJ’s dance mix all night long as the beautiful women pile in creating a delightfully entertaining atmosphere till 2am. Have fun and as always drink responsibly!

We know that Sister's Edge was still around as of March 20, 2010, because this event was listed in the Austin Chronicle:

6PM-7PM: God-des, Sister’s Edge II (113 San Jacinto). When a singer is as genuine and soulful as God-des there is little to be said for them, as the music says it all. God-des has been on my iPod for the past week or so! Come to Siss-E-Deux for a good time.

She was still breathing around Pride Day (June 20, 2010):

NOT THE FAKE L WORD, THE REAL L WORD HRC hosts the premiere of Showtime's new reality, The Real L Word, a reality certainly influenced by the nonreality of the original L Word. Price includes annual HRC membership, but does it include a chart? Sun., June 20, 4pm. Sister's Edge II, 113 San Jacinto, 457-8010. $10.

But by the end of the month, Sister's Edge II had expired--just like her 1997 namesake.

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