Nestled in East Austin between Comal Street and Chestnut Street, is a district that was built through the perseverance of proud people. The East 12th Street District has been a part of Austin’s diverse history for decades. The ties that bind this neighborhood can be found in the places that promote a sense of community. The district is home to a number of services including religious institutions, retail shops, convenience stores, beauty parlors, barbershops. These include Altatudes, Ideal Barber Shop, Kane’s Barber Shop, Simpson United Methodist Church, Mount Carmel Grand Lodge Temple, Linder Insurance and Mustang Paint and Body Shop, among others. The district is home to a wide assortment of restaurants, bars and eateries that include all the staples of Southern cuisine. Try the delicious Cajun offerings at The Original New Orleans Po-Boy and Gumbo Shop; if Texas barbecue is more your scene, Sam’s BBQ is renowned for their flavorful, tender brisket. For some of the most authentic soul food in Austin, visit Galloway’s Sandwich Shop, where you’ll find mouthwatering classics like fried catfish, chicken and dumplings, and delicious biscuits and gravy.

East 12th Street preserves and celebrates the history of the African American community that helped build Austin into the vibrant city it is today. By creating a cultural connection with the community, East 12th Street takes the lead in sharing this rich legacy of pride with residents, visitors and generations to come.

The East Twelfth Street Merchants Association has solidified the district’s boundaries and begun the process of leading positive changes in the district. In collaboration with Souly Austin, ETSMA is in the process of furthering the association’s mission through the improvement of infrastructure in the area and the implementation of projects and events that celebrate this vibrant community and preserves East 12th Street’s rich history.


Instagram: @East12Merchants

Reflections on a Legacy Documentary

If you are interested in viewing the documentary “Reflections on a Legacy: East 12th Street”, please contact the Huston-Tillotson University Archives by phone at (512) 505-3079 or by e-mail at

District Brochure

District Strategy

Activation Award Report

Placemaking Project Report

East 12th Street District Map




The East 12th Street Business District Video
Award of Excellence - Community Awareness
2019 National Association of Telecommunications Officers & Advisors