Former Site of Texas Drilling Company

Site Narrative

The Highland Tap, known for its beers and meats, currently occupies the space once home to the gay bar Texas Drilling Company in Atlanta’s Virginia Highland (VaHi) neighborhood. The space had also been home to Murrah’s Grocery Store. Jay Evans owned Texas Drilling Company until it closed. He would go on to open Renegade’s, a gay country bar, at 306 Ponce de Leon Avenue. When Renegade’s failed, Evans re-branded and opened the Atlanta Eagle in the same building, which as of June 2021 still remains despite substantial challenges to its survival in that historic location. (Please see the site narrative for the Atlanta Eagle here). Evans died from AIDS-related complication in and Robby Kelly and Richard Ramey purchased The Eagle after Evans’s death.


Kelly, Colin. “Remembering Virginia Highland’s Past.” 4 January 2013. Atlanta In Town.

Medwed, Robbie. “Iconic Atlanta gay bar celebrates milestone 30th anniversary.” Georgia Voice. 30 March 2017.

Current site of Highland Tap. Former site of Texas Drilling Company.

“Virginia Highland has changed so much… It was a working-class neighborhood, and there were even boarding houses for working men that offered a room and meals.”

Rupert Fike

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