Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas

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Artists seeking some peace and quiet from the high-energy atmosphere of big cities have been venturing to the suburbs and beyond -- and, in turn, are discovering long-standing classics and new destinations for shopping, dining and live music.


Atlanta native FRKO, a visual artist who has worked with Action Bronson and Gucci Mane, says of the area, which is awash in two- and three-bedroom homes and newly built apartment buildings: “It’s where you’ll find people actually from Atlanta,” including Lil Yachty and Atlanta TV series creator-star Donald Glover.

Illustration by Charlotte Farmer

529 Flat Shoals Ave. SE

This cozy venue, which offers live music six nights a week, features up-and-comers Ziggy 2 Playa, Allen Thomas and Stlndrms, and local heroes like André 3000 have been known to drop by unannounced to hang out.

Versus ATL
493 Flat Shoals Ave. SE

A vintage shop that specializes in sportswear from the 1980s and ’90s -- like old-school Jordan 1s and windbreakers from the 1996 Olympics -- has become a go-to for artists looking to craft a throwback look.

Southern Comfort Restaurant and Lounge
1389 Cedar Grove Road

This honky-tonk dive bar classic serves smoked brisket and steaks under $20, and offers karaoke to boot. Its location in Conley, not Atlanta proper, means that last call isn't until 3 a.m.


As tech firms plant roots in the region, it’s being built up with more condos. Among the musicians who have settled in the area: members of the electronic band SURVIVE (which wrote the Stranger Things theme) and blues-soul group Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears.

Illustration by Charlotte Farmer

Justine’s Brasserie
4710 E. Fifth St.

When last in town, Lady Gaga dined on martinis and escargot at this French cafe/beer garden. Regulars also frequent Justine’s Secret House, a password-entry eatery housed in a Victorian cottage on East Seventh.

Big Medium Studio
916 Springdale Road, Building 2

Outside of the city, the former warehouse and industrial spaces serve as havens for artists to make and display their work, like Big Medium: a nonprofit art gallery, performance space, studio and coffee shop.

Switched On
2400 E. Cesar Chavez St.

This music electronics emporium is a wonderland of vintage keyboards and synths for budding prog-rockers, and a short walk from Launderette, a hotspot for coffee, drinks and dessert.


Musicians have relocated to Franklin with visions of “long black fences and all that land with horses,” says Revolution Real Estate’s Ryan Rygmyr. Those who have made the move include Justin Timberlake, who throws his Pilgrimage Music Festival in town, and Miley Cyrus.

Illustrations by Charlotte Farmer

Illustration by Charlotte Farmer

Franklin Theatre
419 Main St.

Renovated and reopened in 2011, the 400-seat, art deco auditorium is an intimate venue for major acts like Sheryl Crow, and recently served as a wedding venue for Paramore’s Hayley Williams.

White’s Mercantile
2908 12th Ave. S

Holly Williams, the granddaughter of Hank Williams, owns this ultra-chic shop located in a converted 19th century grocery store near White’s Room and Board, her Gibson guitar-equipped bed-and-breakfast.

Puckett’s Grocery
120 Fourth Ave. S

“You never know which old-timer [will] play here,” says Williams of this former grocery store -- frequented by Walker Hayes and Nick Carter -- that serves Southern classics and hosts open-mic nights.

This article originally appeared in the Jan. 27 issue of Billboard.

Billboard Power 100 2018