For over 100 years, the Baylor Family has joined together to celebrate Homecoming in big, bold ways. Just over 100 miles south of McLane Stadium, though, Baylor graduates who now call Austin home but can’t make it back to Waco do Homecoming in a different way.
The Mean Eyed Cat, an Austin bar on 5th Street along the Colorado River has served as a second home to many Baylor alumni on game day for years.
“My wife couldn’t get a job, so I was here for a year by myself and actually early on coming to this bar to watch Baylor games was really affirming in a way,” said Scott Burghart. “It reinforced the idea that I had come home in a sense.”
Festivities on campus brought alumni from across the generations together and fueled a sense of community and school pride. That was true at Mean Eyed Cat, too, as many Austin alumni came together to watch the Bears beat Kansas 35-23.
“When I came here I felt this energy and this vibration. It felt just like I was back in Waco. That family atmosphere they talk about, it’s here too,” said Sam Austin. “This place made me feel I have a community here. I have a place I can go to feel like I’m at home, feel like I’m back in college.”
As the game played, Baylor alumni did more than watch. They met other fans, swapped stories, and even shared meals. As the sun was shining, the outside TV area made for a perfect day to watch football together with fellow Bears.
The Mean Eyed Cat has many quirks that make it unique, allowing it to fit perfectly in the Austin atmosphere, when it opened in 2004. The bar serves a variety of food and cocktails, plus an extensive list of beers on tap.
Before the opening, the building was vacated by the Cut-Right Chainsaw repair shop. Once converted into a bar, former owner Chris Marsh named it after the Johnny Cash tune “The Mean Eyed Cat.”
The interior of the bar includes an homage to country music icon, Johnny Cash, along with chainsaws and blades on the walls as decor dedicated to the building’s history.
“Austin was the only place in Texas we really wanted to live,” said Terri Burghart. “It is nice to be able to walk around and almost assume people are Baylor fans if there is a Baylor game where we couldn’t do that when we lived in Florida.”
The bar has its quirks and fans say that is what makes it the perfect atmosphere for watch parties. With the character of Austin and the heart of Baylor, this bar is the perfect home away from home open to all Baylor fans.