Save the Mean Eyed Cat!

Thousands sign petition to save bar
6/17/2007 12:01 PM
By: Reagan Hackleman



Clayton White and his friend stopped by the Mean Eyed Cat Saturday afternoon for two reasons.

“I came by here to have a lone star beer because it’s a great bar and to sign the petition,” White said.

It’s a petition that more than 6,000 have signed in just a few weeks, and the cause even has its own website.

“Every night in the bar we sign up at least a hundred people,” owner Chris Marsh said.

Three years ago Marsh left his job as a manger of popular restaurant to open a bar…

He found a run down building on Fifth Street…remodeled it…a named it after his favorite song.

“Mean Eyed Cat was the song my dad would play my twin brother and I when we were kids to make us go to sleep,” Marsh said.

The bar is a shrine to the man in black, Johnny Cash: his music’s in the juke box, his pictures cover the walls and his song titles have taken on a brand new meaning.

More Information
Zoning battle

The Mean Eyed Cat is zoned as a bar and restaraunt, but it doesn’t have a kitchen.

“I think Ring of Fire, that’s what I’ve been in for the last month,” Marsh said.

The fate of bar is now in hands of the Austin City Council.

“The Mean Eyed Cat is not zoned to be the Mean Eyed Cat,” City Council member Brewster McCracken said.

Currently the bar is zoned as a restaurant and bar, but to keep that zoning more than 50 percent of its sales must come from food, which is kind of hard when there’s no kitchen.

To keep serving beer…it needs to be re-zoned as a cocktail lounge.

“I for one don’t want to be the City council member who’s responsible for making the Mean Eyed Cat shut its doors. It’s a great Austin icon and it’s not the Mean Eyed Cat if they can’t serve cold beers on a hot summer’s night,” McCracken said.

“You can’t shut down a Johnny Cash bar in Texas,” White said.

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