In this episode, Carter Yates tells the story of a beloved University of Texas student hangout.
Since opening in 1991, the Cain and Abel’s bar became synonymous with the West Campus student neighborhood nestled a block away from the University of Texas. Generations of UT upperclassmen flooded through the doors. Most drank their fair share of beers while unwinding with their closest friends, a handful found their significant others before graduating and a select few got the logo tattooed on their ass. The one-story building that holds these memories, however, will soon be bulldozed in favor of a luxury student high-rise apartment, yet another of the 50-plus construction projects that have sprouted in the student neighborhood since 2004. Cain and Abel’s is the final domino to fall in West Campus’s transformation from a funky college atmosphere to another neighborhood in a generic big city. A decades-long push of privatization in a booming Austin market economy finally gained the power to topple UT’s favorite bar. But there’s a place like Cain and Abel’s in every college town, and the simple process used by private developers in Austin can easily be replicated elsewhere. And, for what it’s worth, Carter reported and produced this story in the fall of 2022. Since he finished his project, Cain and Abel’s announced they’re staying in West Campus and moving to a building a few blocks away from the original location.