It was the first club of its kind in that town and consequently the only one, for a time.
Originally a bar run by Hispanics Joseph Gonzales (deceased in May 1996) and Roy "Raul" Gomez, when, in 1978, the emerging, aspiring punk rockers approached them, looking for a venue to play, since those performers had difficulties being accepted elsewhere. Raul's gave them a chance, but at first did not enjoy the new style, which they deemed too chaotic, preferring rather Tejano music. Then there was the September 19 incident of the arrest for obscenity of the singer of The Huns, Phil Tolstead, while on stage for their first performance, which drew considerable attention after a scoop article on the matter was published in the university students' newspaper, The Daily Texan, and on to other publications such as Rolling Stone and the NME in the UK. A photograph had been taken at the moment where a bare-chested Tolstead, being handcuffed on stage, was reaching to one of the police officers for a kiss on the cheek. The punk rockers insisted, and the establishment experienced a noticeable increase in clientèle, fueled by curiosity, especially among the young people, as its proximity to the university should supply.
Eventually the place became the punk rock venue in town, and its reputation was somewhat echoed throughout the United States.
A recording was made there, the 1979 Live at Raul's, a compilation of songs by five local bands of the time. Were also regulars there: Radio Free Europe, Eddie and the Inm'8s, Joe "King" Carrasco and the Crowns, Sharon Tate's Baby, The MiƧtakes, Boy Problems, the Chickadiesels, the Re*cords, the Reactors, the Delinquents, D-Day, the all-girl band The Foams, Action Toys, the Electric Tools, the Stains, the Gators, the Derelicts, Radio Planets, the Rejects, Secret Science, Perverted Popes, the Invisibles, Toxic Shock; then later, the Big Boys, and The Dicks. The club hosted a number of touring bands early on from elsewhere such as The Plugz from LA, who had Texas roots, in the summer of 79, with several other LA bands following. Also The Psychedelic Furs on their first US tour (1980), the Dinettes from Santa Barbara, on June 25 & 26, the Controllers from L.A. (November 17 & 18). Patti Smith made an appearance, and so did Devo, and Elvis Costello. Robert Fripp was once spotted in the audience.
There have been several "Raul's reunions" around town, one in 1988, one in October 29 of 1994 at Liberty Lunch; another on September 26 of 2003 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the "Huns riot", at Café Mundi; a "Class of '78" performance at the Austin Music Hall for the Austin Music Awards on March 17 2004; one at the Texas Showdown, the current bar at Raul's former location , on 2008-01-26.