When you step into the Oat Willie’s on 29th St. you are stepping into a piece of Austin History. Oat Willie’s is THE Original Austin Head Shop that started it all. Today there are three locations: an Oat Willies Burnet, an Oat Willies Oltorf, and the famous 29th St. location. Drop in if you are looking for the best prices and the friendliest, most knowledgeable sales staff. Remember: this isn’t you’re average head shop.
Oat Willie’s is a retail establishment that sells not only pipes, papers, lighters, and other tobacco accessories, but all the paraphernalia that accompanies a Head Shop culture. The shop came into existence at an incredible time in history. Doug and George were more than happy to serve the smoking needs of their community. In fact, Oat Willies was so connected to the heart of Austin that Doug Sahm had all his phone messages and mail forwarded to the store! Doug (Brown) and George happily ran the shop together until the beginning of the 70’s when George said farewell and went on to open the Soap Creek Saloon, a music venue and bar that hosted legends including Doug Sahm, Willie Nelson, and countless other music talents.
Everything almost came to a halt during the 1980’s when the Texas Legislature passed a series of laws attempting to outlaw the sale of paraphernalia. There was a mad rush as our customers swarmed to get as many items as they could from our store before the ban. Fortunately, we survived the legislation and have found a way to thrive on the other side. We have had to change some of the terminology that we once used when referring to certain items we sell, and of course had to cease selling a few of some of the products we carried altogether, but we survived and have come back stronger than ever.
As a matter of fact, most of the smoke shops that are now in existence wouldn’t be if it had not been for our persistence in the face of the new laws. Late in the 1980’s Mike Kleinmann joined the team and opened 2 new stores, giving birth to both the “North Oats” and “South Oats” stores. These two stores would later split off as Mike ventured on to create his own head shop called Planet K. Let us not forget that Jerry Schultz brought the Gas Pipe to the Austin Mix.
There are now many different smoke shops in town that offer a variety of products. Oat Willie’s started it all, and we continue to offer low prices and service that nobody can beat, so drop in if you’re looking for the best smoke shop in town.