Want to own a Texas rock venue? ATX Brands CEO Doug Guller is selling the lease for The Parish, a 5,300-sq.-ft, 425-capacity venue on Austin’s famed Sixth Street through online marketplace eBay in a 10-day auction that opens Friday (Dec. 1) at noon CST.
“This will be someone’s Christmas present,” Gullers tells Billboard, explaining that his holding company is getting out of the music business and has already sold two other music venues earlier this year. In April, Guller auctioned off Schroeder Hall, the second oldest dance hall in Texas via eBay, with the winning bid going to widow Linda Krause for $499,700. The 66-year-old told the Victoria Advocate she bought the Schroeder Hall because she enjoyed dancing at the venue in the 80s and 90s with her late husband Bill. In July, Guller sold the Scoot Inn, one of East Austin’s oldest bars, to Live Nation-backed C3 Presents for an undisclosed amount.
The Parish is the final venue to be auctioned off for ATX and Guller says the winning bidder will get a turnkey venue in a historic building in the capital of Texas that has hosted everyone from Pete Townshend to Slash and Thom Yorke, as well as indie bands like like Alt-J, Band of Horses, Bon Iver, Shakey Graves, Spoon and ZZ Ward. The sale of a venue on eBay is a first for Austin and Guller is starting bids at $1 although bidders must hit an undisclosed reserve price to actually trigger a sale — Guller won’t release the minimum purchase price.
“I’ve set it at a number that will make the potentially winning bidder very happy., but it can go well above the minimum requirement,” he said, noting the buyer will assume a 12-year lease with two five-year renewal options.
Buyers will also get in-house lighting and production capabilities and a new Nexo sound system, Guller tells Billboard, noting “from a production standpoint, it’s top of the line.” The sale also includes the Parish’s two large bars and two green rooms, as well as a private office, venue furniture and an HD projector and screen. Guller said shows are booked through next year and buyers have the option of purchasing his liquor license from the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission. The eBay auction for the venue ends Dec. 10 and Guller said he hopes to have the sale closed by Dec. 22. Anyone can bid on the venue, but eBay does require pre-qualification for all bids over $15,000.
“Hopefully it’s a person or persons who are in the industry that can afford a venue like The Parish and can take it to the next level,” he tells Billboard. “I love the Austin music scene and have been the owner of the Parish for the last eight years. Here’s an opportunity for someone that is a true lover of music to buy what is arguably the best venue of its size in the country.”
Guller said the sale means his company will be fully divested from music — he’s also trying to sell an old ghost town 60 miles northwest of San Antonio he bought in 2013 and renamed Bikinis, Texas. Earlier this year he restored the town’s historic name Bankersmith and is asking $1.5 million for the small settlement nestled between Luckenbach and Fredericksburg that includes a 5,500 sq.-ft. dance hall and a 2,464 sq.-ft. saloon. ATX currently owns Austin’s 508 Tequila Bar, Bankersmith, Pelon’s Tex Mex restaurant and Ginos East Pizzeria which has five locations in Texas.