This is going to be a fun series. While Austin’s dive bars are vanishing at a frightening pace there are still enough to devote a month or so to the topic.

The old Hunt’s deer processing facility shuttered long ago when owner Chester Hunt decided to convert his meat market into an icehouse. You can still feel the good glow that years in the meat trade imbue on a building. Just thinking of all the delicious meat that flowed through the structure over the years can provide some nice fodder for daydreaming over your afternoon cold one.

There are many commendable features of C. Hunt’s Icehouse: He serves the coldest beer in Austin. Relaxing at the bar takes on a different tenor when your beer rests alongside you in the trough of ice that runs the length of the bar.

Prices are very reasonable. A Pearl Light, one of the great hot-day-in-Austin beers, is two dollars.

Music: On a recent afternoon Lynyrd Skynyrd was playing along with Humble Pie and Captain Beyond. Perhaps the programmer hadn’t purchased a new record, or had a need to, since 1974.

Bartenders are happy to see you and generally just seem to be delighted to be working at C. Hunt’s. They’re all kinds of happy. Life must be pretty good for a worker here.

The icehouse has a strict over 21 policy. Such questionable parenting tactics as bringing your toddler to the bar are not allowed at Chester’s joint. Would that other Austin bar owners had such policies. It’s always a little odd to be in a bar with children but at Hunt’s it’s all adults. Drinking. And sitting under the grape trellis out front.

Which is one of the great ways to while away an afternoon in Austin.

all Austin Dive Bar coverage here


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