Poodie’s iconic roadhouse, which needs no introduction to Austin natives, is an “in the know” venue where some of the best singer/songwriters in the world come to perform for an intimate crowd, and a prime steak dinner can be had for under $20.
Started by Willie Nelson’s stage manager Poodie Locke, and now managed by Sharon Burke, Poodie’s has maintained it’s Texas Hill Country mystique with intimate shows by the likes of Willie Nelson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Freddy Powers, Ray Benson, Kevin Fowler, Pat Green, and many others.
Sharon is instituting changes that she and Poodie discussed before he passed away, and the change that’s getting the most buzz is the switch to a smoke-free environment.The first smoke free show will be the next day, July 5th, with Larry Joe Taylor and William Clark Green slated to entertain starting at 8:00 p.m. Sharon explained during the WC Jameson/George Enslie Singer/Songwriter showcase that Poodie’s hosts every Monday at 6:30, “I was concerned for the Health of the Bartenders and the Musicians.
We decided that we would host the Great Poodie’s Smokeout Party “SMOKE ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM!!!!” on the 4th of July. That will be the final day of smoking at Poodie’s…there will be burgers and sausage outside and the final smoke down inside. – Sharon Burke, Poodie’s owner and manager
THE GREAT DEBATE
Although it’s not without controversy, most people seem to be in support of this nationwide movement to ban smoking in bars and restaurants, as the International Agency for Research on Cancer has reviewed the evidence accumulated and concluded in 2004 that “Involuntary smoking (exposure to secondhand or ‘environmental’ tobacco smoke) is carcinogenic to humans.” With lung cancer, breast cancer, allergies, brain tumors in children, low birth weight and a host of other maladies proven to be associated with passive smoking, Poodie’s patrons have taken the debate to facebook, with one stating “One of the reasons that places that have live music have started being smoke-free has been driven by the musicians & bartenders themselves. Being a musician (as a hobby) and having been a bartender way back in the day, those who spend a lot of time in places where a lot of smoking is going on are adversely affected by the smoke that the patrons only have to be around for a short while. Some bars make it an option for the performer to request no smoking during their show and allow it all the other times.”
Sharon explained that the outside smoking area (seen in the video below) will still be open for smokers,as usual. “The deck is a rockin place to hang and the party on the deck will never change. Poodies will still be the place to be,” she said.
ABOUT POODIE’S HILLTOP ROADHOUSE: Located in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, Poodie’s Hilltop Roadhouse offers the best in live music entertainment. Over the years, the Hilltop has hosted music legends Willie Nelson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Freddy Powers, Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel, Jerry Jeff Walker, Billy Joe Shaver, Toby Keith, Kevin Fowler, Pat Green, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Billy Bob Thornton, Gary P. Nunn. And many more stars have graced our stage. So come on out. Enjoy some great Texas music, good food, cold beer and sensational sunsets out on our two-tiered deck. As Poodie always said: “No Bad Days.”
PICTURES FROM THE GEORGE ENSLE SINGER/SONGWRITER SHOWCASE FEATURING FREDDY POWERS (PHOTOS: DREW DEGENNARO/AMFM MAGAZINE)