" The Historic Victory Grill is Austin, Texas’ oldest, standing blues club. Established in 1945 by Johnny Holmes, the Victory Cafe was originally an icehouse that hosted local blues musicians out on the porch while selling beer to local patrons in the hot Austin summer. Later, in 1949, Johnny Holmes decided to expand the icehouse and build a bar & grill that provided a space for African American soldiers returning from the war to enjoy good food and good entertainment (segregation prohibited these soldiers from doing so in most parts of town), appropriately calling it the Victory Grill.
From the late 1920s to the late 1960s, Austin’s East 11th and 12th Streets boasted a Chitlin Circuit scene showcasing local blues and jazz talent as well as touring acts like in the 1920s the great Louis Armstrong 1901- 1971Satchmo Louis Armstrong to R&B artists in the 1950s like Ike & Tina Turner and the 60s the greatest of B.B. King and Bobby Blue Bland.
Today, the Historic Victory Grill is one of the last remaining, original “Chitlin Circuit” juke joints. It is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, archived by the Texas Historic Commission, and donned as a Texas Treasure by the statewide organization Preservation Texas. It represents all of the juke joints that once lined Austin’s east side that have come and gone. It also represents an important piece of Austin’s African American cultural roots in a neighborhood that is undergoing change. "