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Our Little Secret | Cristina & Michael's Donn's Depot

Donn’s Depot, known as “the Depot” by regulars, has quite the history. Housed in a building made of old rail cars, the Depot is a home away from home for most.

My love affair with the Depot began while I was attending UT. Beers were cold, the dance floor packed, and the crowd as diverse as they come. The seniors moved to a rhythm that can only come from years of practice, the fast-talking cowboy types always asked for a dance, and the regulars enjoyed the familiar scene of Donn and his son Matt, playing onstage.

One day I casually mentioned to my dad where I had been the night before, and to say I was surprised at his response would be an understatement. “You went where?” he asked. “Donn’s Depot on Fifth Street,” I said. “Donn’s Depot? I used to hang out at Donn’s!” he replied. The love affair continued whenever I flew home to Austin from New York City, where I lived for a few years. Donn’s was always my first stop. Bartender Michelle Bebee Nabours was my first friend at Donn’s. She would always welcome me with a huge hug. I later found out she was one of my boyfriend’s good friends as well, as was Jonathon, another bartender. There was also Tammy. Tammy never writes anything down but always remembers your drink and manages to find you as you move about the Depot.

Which takes me to today—enter the man you will all probably recognize, Michael Bocanegra. Known to all as “Boca, ” he seems to know absolutely everyone. So it should have come as no surprise when we went to Donn’s for the first time together that we knew the same people. So much so that a mutual friend (one we didn’t know was a mutual friend until that night) shook her head and said, “Of course—why didn’t I think of this?” Seeing us together at Donn’s made perfect sense.

Donn’s played host to Michael’s surprise birthday party last year and has been the host to previous birthdays. It was also the site of our good friends Jeff and Meghan’s wedding after-party. Though already filled with memories, this place always welcomes new ones. Take cash for the cover, grab some free popcorn, and say "hi" to the gang for us. They always remember your name at the Depot.

Cristina Facundo is a wardrobe stylist. Her work can be seen at cristinafacundo.com. Michael Bocanegra is a bartender at Bar 96 on Rainey Street.

Credits

Photography by Annie Ray

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