About Spider House

locationOur HistoryPress Mentions • contact

Spider House Ballroom
is located at
2906 Fruth Street
Austin, Texas 78705


Ballroom Hours:
’til-2am, 7 days a week

Spider House Cafe
is located at
2908 Fruth Street
Austin, Texas 78705


Cafe Hours:
Open 7 days a week: 11am-2am

Our History

Two decades ago, Spider House owner and founder, Conrad Bejarano, took his first steps into what is now the Cafe.  He found a run-down, dusty space laden with musical instruments and a makeshift sound room in the basement.  And 20 years later, after a lot of blood, sweat, tears and tchotchkes, Spider House Cafe and Ballroom has blossomed into a hotspot of art, music and culture and has been christened “one of the 10 best destinations in America,” by USA Today and an “Austin Institution” by The Washington Post.

What stands today is the small carnival-village of Spider House Cafe and Ballroom. It includes a cafe that serves an assortment of specialty coffee drinks and cocktails, fine-crafted beer and an array of sandwiches, pizza and satisfying snacks. The patio harbors a variety of food and coffee trailers, a tattoo shop. Around the corner of from the patio, a disco-ball-lit ballroom hosts events seven nights a week, ranging from slam poetry and independent film screenings to loud, raucous live music..

The house that is the heart and soul of Spider House was built in 1931 by German immigrants, Erhardt and Teresa Fruth for one of their daughters. After the last of the Fruth heirs moved out of the house, it passed through a series of owners before being abandoned in 1970s. From there it became a watering hole for party-going Austinites known as “the House on Hemphill,” “the Party House,” and “the House to Get Weed At.” It was a place where locals and musicians would come to hang out, play, booze and crash.

Cut to the mid-90s, when a friend told Bejarano about the residential house for sale on Fruth Street – his vision became clear: to create a cultural gathering place for the community. “The foundation of culture in our society is as important to humans as the air and the water we need to survive,” he explains. It was during this time that Bejarano’s high school friend and I Luv Video business partner, John Dorgan, named the business. Without any relation to the book published by Paul Bowles in the ’50s, it was an on-the-spot name so repulsive that it had charm. In 1995,  Spider House Cafe opened its doors to the public.

Shortly thereafter the staff found the house to be haunted. Late at night after all the crowds had left, sounds with no clear origin could be heard in the basement. To this day, paranormal activity can be observed in the house and tattoo shop; some signs have included undisclosed phone messages and random stacking and re-stacking of equipment.

After a plasma donation center closed across the parking lot, its space became open territory. At the time, Bejarano and Dorgan planned to convert it into a video store, hence the Justin Prince movie mural previously painted on the side. However, during the paperwork process they were approached by a number of artists and musicians seeking a unique space to perform and display their art, and it was then that Bejarano saw the potential of the space and decided to turn it into a venue. It became known as the United States Art Authority and a few years later, Bejarano and Dorgen renamed it Spider House Ballroom, a venue serving as a playground for artists, musicians, and performers to this day.

The Spider House property features a grand spectacle of lights and aesthetic. The award-winning display is a sensation of twinkling Christmas lights twirling over statues, fountains, and bathtubs on the patio and into the cafe,  where the original wooden walls are decorated with paintings, signs and records—everything handpicked and thoughtfully placed by Bejarano.

From its legacy in the historical neighborhood to its small coffee-shop beginnings, Spider House continues to be a treasure of the community. While the city itself may have changed over the past 20 years, Spider House remains as the go-to place for anyone to get their fix on all things creative and Austin.

Press Mentions

Washington Post: Why this Austin cafe owner is helping food trucks sell to his customers

The Daily Texan: Spider Hitched article and photo gallery

Austin Chronicle Spider Hitched photo gallery

Austin Chronicle Best of Austin Awards:

  • 2009: Critics Most Friendly Exit
  • 2005: Critics Most Romantic Nerd Night Out
  • 2004: Readers Best Teen Hangout
  • 2003: Readers Best Coffehouse
  • 2003: Critics Best Place to Play Chess
  • 2002: Readers Best Coffeehouse
  • 2001: Readers Best Casual Hangout
  • 2001: Readers Best Coffeehouse
  • 2000: Readers Best Casual Hangout
  • 2000: Readers Best Coffeehouse
  • 1999: Readers Best Place To Meet A Blind Date
  • 1998: Readers Best Coffee House

#11 out of 35 Things Everyone Should Do in Austin, Texas, Before They Die according to BUZZFEED



ZAGAT RATED #1 Place in Austin to Meet Your Tinder Date!

DO512 Favorited Coffee Bar

2013 #1 Coffee Shop by Austin Downtown Blog

Culture Map Names the Spider House Ballroom Perfect Location for Music and Arts in Town 

 The Austinot names Spider House a Perfect Place to Keep Austin Weird

‘Stranger Things’: Inside Austin’s Synth Explosion – Rolling Stone

Oct 31, 2016 – Bobby Scheidemann for Rolling Stone … The cavernous, cluttered store I Luv Video on Airport Blvd. maintains its status as the world’s largest …

Spider House Cafe and Ballroom to Celebrate 20 Years With Epic Party

Profiles of Innovation: Conrad Bejarano – YouTube


Profiles of Innovation Series Sponsored by Frost Bank