Austin is one of our favorite southern hotspots, and Stag is one of its gems. This South Congress shop opened in 2009 when owners Steve Shuck and Don Weir recognized that Austin was a great retail market with plenty boutiques catering to women, but very few aimed at men. They set out to change that, by creating a one stop shop for style-conscious guys. Apparel, accessories, grooming, design, music, art, gifts, furniture etc etc etc—they’ve got all of it.
Co-owner Don answered some of our questions about life at Stag.
Neighborhood: South Congress Ave. in the heart of the Travis Heights neighborhood in old South Austin. Twenty years ago, South Congress was still populated mainly by prostitutes and XXX theaters, but over the past 10 years, it exploded as the retail, restaurant, and pedestrian hub of the city and consists almost entirely of independently owned, local businesses. It’s a special place, and we’re really lucky to have found the space we’re operating out of when we did.
What tunes are on regular rotation in your shop? They're always changing, but lately we've been listening to lots of War on Drugs, Mac Demarco, Television, and Deer Tick, along with locals Hundred Visions, and the Hard Pans. We play a lot of older stuff like Buck Owens, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Doug Sahm, and Willie Nelson to go along with staples like the Stones, Zeppelin, and the Kinks as well. Our mix is a little all over the place, which is fun.
What’s the best thing about doing business in your hood? We're really lucky to do business on a street that has about 10 blocks worth of independent restaurants, retailers, music clubs, and hotels, so there are always loads of people roaming the streets and popping in the shop from all over the country. We get a great mix of regular, loyal locals and tourists from all over the world.
What’s another must-visit spot in your neighborhood? There are too many to mention, but tops on our list is always Uncommon Objects. They're one of the best oddity / curiosity / antique shops in the country and have been doing business on the street for 20+ years—way before the rest of us newbies came along. The same goes for the Continental Club down the street. They've played host to some of the best bands in the world for over 20 years as well, and the place hasn't changed at all. It's not in our neighborhood, but Barton Springs (the largest urban spring fed pool in the country) is about 5 minutes away, and is a must visit for anyone coming to Austin. It's 68 degrees year-round and helps make the Texas summers tolerable.
What’s your fave Bridge & Burn piece? You know, it's not a specific piece that's my favorite, but Bridge & Burn's fit is as good as any out there. We get guys coming back over and over and over again because of the fit, and I'm that way with your shirts as well. I love them. The fit and the weights are always spot on.
Describe your ideal Austin weekend: Dinner on Friday night (we recommend Uchi-ko, Barley Swine, Odd Duck, and East Side King among others) with maybe a show at the Continental afterwards; a lazy Saturday morning; an afternoon / evening in the Texas Hill Country with friends, a cold cocktail to beat the heat, and a Sunday spent reading and listening to music. And a late afternoon trip to the Springs never hurt.