About Spider House

locationOur HistoryCelebrity Guest VisitsPress Mentions • contactSpider House Haunted Story



Spider House Ballroom
is located at
2906 Fruth Street
Austin, Texas 78705

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Ballroom Hours:
’til-2am, 7 days a week

Spider House Cafe
is located at
2908 Fruth Street
Austin, Texas 78705

VIRTUAL TOUR

Cafe Hours:
Open 7 days a week: 10am-2am



Our History

Two decades ago, Spider House owner and founder, Conrad Bejarano, took his first steps into what is now the Cafe.  He found a run-down, dusty space laden with musical instruments and a makeshift sound room in the basement.  And 20 years later, after a lot of blood, sweat, tears and tchotchkes, Spider House Cafe and Ballroom has blossomed into a hotspot of art, music and culture and has been christened “one of the 10 best destinations in America,” by USA Today and an “Austin Institution” by The Washington Post.

What stands today is the small carnival-village of Spider House Cafe and Ballroom. It includes a cafe that serves an assortment of specialty coffee drinks and cocktails, fine-crafted beer and an array of sandwiches, pizza and satisfying snacks. The patio harbors a variety of food and coffee trailers, a tattoo shop. Around the corner of from the patio, a disco-ball-lit ballroom hosts events seven nights a week, ranging from slam poetry and independent film screenings to private Parties, Weddings, Corporate meetings

The house that is the heart and soul of Spider House was built in 1931 by German immigrants, Erhardt and Teresa Fruth for one of their daughters. After the last of the Fruth heirs moved out of the house, it passed through a series of owners before being abandoned in 1970s. From there it became a watering hole for party-going Austinites known as “the House on Hemphill,” “the Party House,” and “the House to Get Weed At.” It was a place where locals and musicians would come to hang out, play, booze and crash.

Cut to the mid-90s, when a friend told Bejarano about the residential house for sale on Fruth Street – his vision became clear: to create a cultural gathering place for the community. “The foundation of culture in our society is as important to humans as the air and the water we need to survive,” he explains. It was during this time that Bejarano’s high school friend and I Luv Video business partner,  named the business. Without any relation to the book published by Paul Bowles in the ’50s, it was an on-the-spot name so repulsive that it had charm. In 1995,  Spider House Cafe opened its doors to the public.

Shortly thereafter the staff found the house to be haunted. Late at night after all the crowds had left, sounds with no clear origin could be heard in the basement. To this day, paranormal activity can be observed in the house and tattoo shop; some signs have included undisclosed phone messages and random stacking and re-stacking of equipment.

After a plasma donation center closed across the parking lot, its space became open territory. At the time, Bejarano planned to convert it into a video store, hence the Justin Prince movie mural previously painted on the side. However, during the paperwork process they were approached by a number of artists and musicians seeking a unique space to perform and display their art, and it was then that Bejarano saw the potential of the space and decided to turn it into a venue. It became known as the United States Art Authority and a few years later, Bejarano renamed it Spider House Ballroom, a venue serving as a playground for artists, musicians, and performers to this day.

The Spider House property features a grand spectacle of lights and aesthetic. The award-winning display is a sensation of twinkling Christmas lights twirling over statues, fountains, and bathtubs on the patio and into the cafe,  where the original wooden walls are decorated with paintings, signs and records—everything handpicked and thoughtfully placed by Bejarano.

From its legacy in the historical neighborhood to its small coffee-shop beginnings, Spider House continues to be a treasure of the community. While the city itself may have changed over the past 20 years, Spider House remains as the go-to place for anyone to get their fix on all things creative and Austin.


Celebrity Guest Visits

  • Terrence Malick Visiting with friends for the Gold Show
  • Lukas Haas – The Gold Show
  • Johnny Depp-  Private party and Band
  • Amber Heard- Long time customer and friend
  • Monte Hellman-  Director Two Lane black top Q&A  and party 
  • Paris Hilton filming simple life 2 road trip episode # 206
  • Heather Graham – TXRD party USSA
  • Drew Barrymore  – A couple of SXSW
  • Bill Murray SXSW, hung out for  hours, drinking his now famous Bill Buck and Murray he created
  • Ronnie Spector-  NYE Show bash 2014-2015
  • Susan Sarandon- SXSW 2017 Son played at the ballroom
  • Quentin Tarantino- Hanging out with Friends
  • Jimmie Vaughan– Playing for several fundraiser
  • Ron English: Mural on Wall …
  • Roky Erickson: NYE 2015
  • Jake Gyllenhaal- Friends Private party
  • Richard Linklater- Famous local Director, also film Walkin Life at Spider House
  • Anthony Burns  ‘Skateland’ director wrote at Spider House
  • Sigourney Weaver SXSW
  • Danny Trejo Hanging out
  • Lloyd Kaufman Film Screening
  • Justin Long  Hanging out with Friends

 

Spider House Haunted Story

Spider House’s extensive history is riddled with ghost stories. Whether the space is haunted by the ghost of an amazing party, or the spirit of a lost soul, is up for debate. Luckily, we were visited by ‘The Night Owl Podcast’, a monthly podcast featuring and investigating true tales of the paranormal. Check out their investigation of the Spider House Village, and decide for yourself whether or not Spider House is home to ghosts.

 

In the final episode of season one, we travel back to where this incredible journey all began – at an unassuming tattoo shop on the Spider House grounds in Austin, Texas. In Episode 1, “ Ink, Coffee & Spirits”, Stephen and Sara investigated the story of Ray and the many unexplained experiences surrounding the Royal Legion Tattoo Shop. Sara shed some light on the spirit who haunted their shop, but what was not revealed was that Sara encountered several other Spirits that very same night on the grounds of the Spider House Café. These Spirits wanted to be seen but their stories were hazy and unclear at the time. Now, we are thrilled to guide you through one of the most interesting stories that has developed over the course of this past year. It centers around the many Spirits haunting the Spider House grounds, one of whom we call “The Man With A Box”. https://www.thenightowlpodcast.com/ep-12-the-spider-house


Press Mentions

Washington Post: Why this Austin cafe owner is helping food trucks sell to his customers

The Daily Texan: Spider Hitched Wedding Ceremony and photo gallery

The Austin-American Statesman: “Best UT Student Hang Out” 2018

Austin Chronicle: Spider Hitched photo gallery

Austin Chronicle Best of Austin Awards:

  • 2018: Best Patio
  • 2017: Best Patio
  • 2009: Critics Most Friendly Exit
  • 2005: Critics Most Romantic Nerd Night Out
  • 2004: Readers Best Teen Hangout
  • 2003: Readers Best Coffeehouse
  • 2003: Critics Best Place to Play Chess
  • 2002: Readers Best Coffeehouse
  • 2001: Readers Best Casual Hangout
  • 2001: Readers Best Coffeehouse
  • 2000: Readers Best Casual Hangout
  • 2000: Readers Best Coffeehouse
  • 1999: Readers Best Place To Meet A Blind Date
  • 1998: Readers Best Coffee House

#11 out of 35 Things Everyone Should Do in Austin, Texas, Before They Die according to BUZZFEED

USA Today 10 Best Destinations in Austin

ZAGAT RATED #1 Place in Austin to Meet Your Tinder Date!

Culture Map Names the Spider House Ballroom Perfect Location for Music and Arts in Town 

 The Austinot Names Spider House a Perfect Place to Keep Austin Weird

Paper Mag: 20 Years of Spider House

‘Stranger Things’: Inside Austin’s Synth Explosion – Rolling Stone

Austin Monthly: Conrad Bejarano, 20 years of Spider House

Austinot: 20 year Anniversary

People of ATX: Conrad Bejarano – People of ATX – July 2016

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