Here and No Further

Yesterday, the Board of Regent for The University of Texas System authorized UT-Austin to purchase Players, the beloved burger joint.

photocredit: Austin Chronicle

In 2005, the University attempted to acquire Players too. At the time, the price offered by UT was too low for the owners of Players and UT was authorized to use eminent domain to seize the property. The rub: UT was planning on seizing it for a parking garage for a hotel. A petition drive started with some virtual signatures and mostly physical signatures (remember, this was Facebook wasn’t facebook.com, it was thefacebook.com and looked like this. Long ago!)

The media loved the story. I was on the Bobby Bones Show. The Statesman ran a story about the effort. TV news outlets reported it. We made noise. There was support in the Texas House and a bill won overwhelming support against the University using eminent domain.

I haven’t spoke with the owners since news broke yesterday. If they don’t want to sell, we’re going to help them. Save Players is back.

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“But Kraft, it’s just a burger place. There’s nothing particularly unique about it.” True, absolutely true. However, it’s that third space. For most of us, we have a first space (home) and a second space (work/school). We need our place to go to where we can relax and socialize. Players is that place for many folks in Central Austin. Virtually on campus (or else UT wouldn’t want it), it is easily accessible to the southern half of campus. From living in Jester to working at the University Catholic Center, Players was the place to hang out, meet with friends, watch the game and get a bite to eat. Picture “Cheers” but on a college level. Read More