The Historic Victory Grill is Austin, Texas’ oldest, standing blues club. Established in 1945 by Johnny Holmes, the Victory Cafe was originally an icehouse that hosted local blues musicians out on the porch while selling beer to local patrons in the hot Austin summer. Later, in 1949, Johnny Holmes decided to expand the icehouse and build a bar & grill that provided a space for African American soldiers returning from the war to enjoy good food and good entertainment (segregation prohibited these soldiers from doing so in most parts of town), appropriately calling it the Victory Grill. Eventually, Johnny Holmes, an astute music promoter and businessman, extended the café, adding the Kovac Room. “It was fabulous!” said Johnny Holmes, and one of the most sought after music venues for local and touring blues and R&B artists. It was time to bring B.B. King out of Memphis. Today, the Historic Victory Grill is one of the last remaining, original “Chitlin Circuit” juke joints. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, archived by the Texas Historic Commission, and donned as a Texas Treasure by the statewide organization Preservation Texas. It represents all of the juke joints that once lined Austin’s east side that have come and gone. It also represents an important piece of Austin’s African American cultural roots in a neighborhood that is undergoing change. The Historic Victory Grill is currently experiencing an exciting restoration process that plans to bridge Chitlin Circuit preservation and restoration under the umbrella of a working juke joint and café, serving good food, providing good entertainment and educational opportunities that link past African American musical forms and culture with the present.