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It's Sasha's world, we just drink here (if we're lucky)

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Sasha Petraske mixing it up.

Our manager at the Varnish in L.A. is an Austin boy, his name is Chris Bostick, he wants to move on and open his bar. We're backing him. But I prefer San Antonio; college towns aren't really my thing. I like downtown SA, I can see my see myself living right across the street from here. I'm born and raised in New York, and I love cities.

What do you miss about New York City when you were coming up?

It's too expensive now; it's for rich kids in limos with their own chauffeurs. I grew up in The Village Voice office, where my mom worked as a proofreader. My allowance was taking review copies and taking them down to the Strand Bookstore to sell. She was there for 28 years, finished up as a fact checker and then was given an early retirement to get out. She was like the last one. They don't seem to need fact checkers anymore, but then it reads like a student newspaper now anyhow. The great writers are gone.

So you're opening a place in Austin. What about SA?

I think someone could open up a cocktail bar in some neighborhoods in SA tomorrow, and it would thrive. Whether downtown is ready for one, I don't know. There seems to be a vibe here that the locals think the downtown is just for tourists, which is really unfortunate, I mean, this is beautiful; these are beautiful old buildings. I love the downtown of old cities, L.A. is the same. It's still like the Wild West.
I think the downtown is being re-colonized by the locals, or trying to be. About a year from now, I think I will be out here and try to open up a little place. But River Walk rents are crazy, I can't go there. Hopefully I will make a place with a two-station bar, and a little apartment, a place to stay for two or four weeks where I can put my head down. If I can find a landlord amenable to that — a live/work bar — that would be ideal. I love this town. •

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