Neighbors will have to wait longer to see Jovita’s open again

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A popular South Austin live music venue shut down during an FBI raid could see life again, but there’s been a snag in selling the property.

Things haven’t been the same at Freddie’s Place in South Austin since since Jovita’s next door shut down following a drug raid two years ago.

“I used to go see Cornell Hurd play over there on Thursday nights,” said Chris Dale, who runs Freddie’s.

A company wanted to buy Jovita’s. The buyers claim an agreement was reached last February to purchase the property.

Dale says having Jovita’s reopen would benefit everyone in the neighborhood.

“Having an empty building puts off a bad image,” Dale said. “And, having something lively brings business for everyone.”

But there’s a stall in the sale of Jovita’s. In a lawsuit, the buyers say the sellers breached the contract by refusing to show up at closing and sign over the property.

The would-be new owners are suing for $1 million in damages which include loss of revenue. In the meantime, locals wish the deal would just go through.

“It would be nice for the whole South First (Street),” said Ashley Nauta. “There’s so many up and coming places to go to that it would be a good addition.”

“Just to have people more people in the area,” added Larry Hoover. “More to go to, you know, something new.”

“This whole strip of street is starting to build and thrive,” Dale added. “I’d love to see it become something.”

Amado Pardo, the original founder of Jovita’s, died while awaiting trial to charges of heroin trafficking. Fifteen others were arrested and charged in connection with the organized drug trafficking.

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