So much about East Austin is changing these days, sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. I still miss the mustard green fried rice from ESK at Shangri La, but I'm happy to see new food trailers like Kyoten on sixth. One thing that long time East Austin residents probably never thought would change was J&J Drug on 11th street. From 1968 to 2013 Harold and Howard ran the store. The shotgun behind showed that they weren't there to take any shit, but the zip lock bag of free samples they gave to locals who shopped there revealed their true friendly spirit.
It's a spirt that lives on with new owners Rachel Lingvai and Billy Benedict who acquired the business late last year. While the name has changed to J&J Spirits you can still expect the same warm welcome when you walk into the store. The store has been subtly updated inside but still has the same charm it had before. The liquor selection however has taken a definite swing in the right direction. Whether you are a Scotch/Whiskey/Bourbon type or prefer Gin or Vodka you are sure to find a solid selection. Need mixers? They've got that covered as well. They were even kind enough to bring in my favorite bourbon when I mentioned it to them. In addition to spirits, J&J has a modest, yet once again finely curated collection of wines and beer. I'm going to go ahead and chalk this one up to a big win for East Austin.
If you are around tonight (or any 4th Friday) make sure you head to J&J for a tasting. More info here.