During World War II, segregation prevented African American servicemen from enjoying most civilian restaurants and recreational facilities. In an effort to address this issue, Austin civic leaders urged the city to provide recreational sites for servicemen on leave from military posts. By warÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s end, African American servicemen had added but limited Ã¢â‚¬Å“R&RÃ¢â‚¬Â sites in Austin. Johnny Holmes responded to this need when he opened the original Victory Grill on VJ day (Victory over Japan Day, Aug. 16, 1945) in a converted icehouse on east 11th street. Holmes created a venue in east Austin that provided returning African American servicemen with both an accessible dining establishment and blues and jazz entertainment.
Victory Grill Website