Elgin honky-tonk is the creation of two Austin musicians

Just before Thanksgiving in downtown Elgin, a bar that is supposed to be open is clearly not.

There is a crinkled yellow poster pasted on the exterior of the building that reads “COMING SOON.” The glass doors and windows are blacked out with hanging plastic. One of those ubiquitous “CLOSED PLEASE CALL AGAIN” signs with a clock on it hangs at the entrance. With delays that have stretched past weeks and into months, the clock may as well lose its hands.

And yet, in a town begging for its sole honky-tonk, people still stop by 109 Central Avenue every day to see if Lightnin’ Bar is ready to inject Elgin with a combination of bluegrass, country, and rock ‘n’ roll.

Around noon on a gray Tuesday in November, a man peers into the glass doors, or at least attempts to. He pops his head in, sees a shell of a dive bar with its two owners, musicians Caleb Dawson and Bob Mann, standing amid wreckage, and shrugs back down the sidewalk.

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