There are concerns about a dangerous spot for pedestrians in South Austin where a new bar called The Moontower Saloon
, just opened up on Manchaca Road.
It's been a huge success, but the new hangout doesn't have enough parking; forcing bar-goers to look somewhere else to park -- sometimes across a busy street.
Josh Bumb and his business partner decided to open up this bar on the south side of town. But, they weren't expecting such an explosive response when they opened their doors in mid-November.
"We opened up and we just rang this astronomical number without even saying 'we're open,'" said Bumb.
Word quickly spread and crowds flocked to the bar decked with food trucks, music, drinks, outdoor patios and a good time. Patrons of the bar said this kind of place is exactly what this area needed.
"What they did is they nailed it, they nailed every aspect of everything that every single person in Austin would like," said Craig Budreau, who now frequents the hang out spot regularly.
But with the successful response came some unexpected growing pains -- parking.
"I have a lot of parking and it's just that we got more people than parking," said Bumb.
It has forced some patrons to park along a very busy section of Manchaca Road. The problem has nearby neighbors doing anything but cheering, as the overflow has also rolled into their neighborhood.
"I have had a lot of neighbors -- mostly on the west side of the street -- complaining a lot," said Lauren Smith, who lives in a neighborhood directly adjacent to the bar.
On a road where the speed limit is 55 mph there are no crosswalks in sight or lights to help people walking on the street. It's also a change of pace for this once quiet community.
"It does make me a little nervous that somebody could get into an accident," said Smith.
It's a major concern for Bumb too, which is why he's now working with police to add off-duty officers. He's also purchased land next door to expand their lot, all in an effort to keep their crowds without losing any lives.
"If we could, we would just go out there and throw lights up and paint some lines to put a crosswalk up there tomorrow," said Bumb, "But it doesn't work like that."
Although there haven't been any accidents on the stretch of road since the bar moved in, the Travis County Sheriff's Office says they will work with the Austin Police Department (they actually have jurisdiction over the actual street) to figure out how to make sure this stretch of road stays safe for everyone.