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We came into the Starlite while waiting for the hotel room to be cleaned to check in. It was just a random pick as it looked interesting and the brewery sign next door only yielded an abandoned building.
From the outside, it actually looks more like a dive. The building is old and the sign is very '60's. But, stepping in, you can only think "high class."
Brunch was still going on (it was past 1pm), but we just sat at the bar and I ordered a beer. They have four types of Live Oak (local brew) on draft as well as a large selection of bottles and mixed drinks. The place was very hip and I felt a little out of place, but very much enjoyed the large beer and the atmosphere. They also had some excellent music (I like indie rock though).
I was worried about the price as I hadn't anticipated it being so upscale, but we were charged $4 for my big beer and my friend's hot tea (they weren't drinking). It's possible though that the bartender just didn't charge for the tea.
I understand that the food is much more expensive, but I'll definitely come back.
Dress Code: No real dress code (I walked in in jeans and flip-flops), but it's a more upscale place. Business casual should be fine.
Written Nov 6, 2007
Address: 407 Colorado St
I absolutely love the ambience at Hotel San Jose's lounge. It's located in a gorgeous, modern courtyard, next to a little swimming pool and surrounded by the stucco-walled buildings. It's classy, but not stuffy. It's cool, but not cold. Funky, but not weird. The beautifully cultivated garden atmosphere adds to the fresh, outdoor appeal. Unfortunately, the lounge closes at 10:30 for non-hotel guests, so get there early.
Dress Code: As always, Austin is pretty casual.
Written Sep 18, 2007
Address: 1316 S. Congress Ave.
Doc's is located near the middle of the South Congress strip. The patio is huge, which allows for great people watching. It's a very popular spot to catch a football game on the TVs, as you will usually find quite a crowd during UT (University of Texas) game days. This bar probably has the best selection of beer on the popular South Congress strip (the only bar I can think of that might have a better selection near the area is Opal Divine's Penn Field, which is further south). The food is pretty good, too. And since it's located on S. Congress, people watching is excellent.
Dress Code: This place is very casual.
Written Sep 18, 2007
Address: 1123 S. Congress Ave.
Key Bar is an excellent, open-air bar right on West 6th Street. The open-air atmosphere, complete with large misting fans, lends a tropical atmosphere that slightly reminds me of places I visited in Hawaii. The walls are part blue, part green, which helps the tropical feel. The crowd is mostly young professionals, enjoying happy hour after work. This bar can be very crowded on Friday evenings, as happy hour specials are decent. Beware of the jacked up prices after happy hour, though. Go for the special margarita, which comes with a homemade popsicle, or for a local beer such as Fireman's #4. Sit back and watch the attractive, well-dressed, under 40 crowd, as the open air environment is condusive to people watching.
Dress Code: This is Austin, so many places don't have very restrictive dress codes. If you're hitting West 6th or the Warehouse District, I would recommend dressing up a little more than if you were hitting regular 6th Street.
Written Aug 12, 2007
The Ginger Man is a bar on the northwest corner of 4th and Lavaca. This place has an amazing beer selection. The menu is divided into beer by geographical location, I believe. If it's a nice day, you definitely should enjoy your beer outside. There's a large, fenced outdoor area behind the bar. I don't know exactly what it is about this place, but I love it. On Mondays at 6:00, order the beer of the day and you can keep the glass, which features the logo of the beer. Beware of this during the school year, though. The place will be crawling with college students, because we all know college students love free stuff. Generally, however, the clientele seems to be mostly men. After work, my coworkers and I enjoy going to Ginger Man for a drink before heading to 219 West for food. 219 West is also on 4th and Lavaca, and they have the best happy hour food specials in town.
Dress Code: There's really not a requirement here.
Written Jun 8, 2007
If you're done browsing art, jewelry, etc. on First Thursday and you want to go grab a beer, but don't want to go to a crowded place such as Guera's, Trophy's might be your place. It's a great dive bar. Trust me, it's extremely divey. It's located just south of Magnolia Cafe on South Congress. It's unlike many other places in this district, considering it's not artsy, classy, or chic. However, it may just be the place you want to be after being around all those places that are artsy, classy, or chic. It's a dark, smokey bar that I believe may serve only beer. The jukebox's selection includes Tom Waits and Bob Dylan. Occasionally, you may catch a band performing.
Dress Code: Wear whatever you want. I doubt anyone cares here.
Written Jun 8, 2007
Almost all of the nightlife in Austin is Downtown:
If you drive a really expensive car you'll go to the Warehouse district - 4th Street.
If you're kind of dull and "normal" you'll go to 6th Street.
and, if you're cool, you'll go to Red River.
See - you have choices!
Dress Code: Most people walk around without any clothes... or is that just me...?
Updated May 8, 2007
Have I mentioned how much I love coffee shops that serve alcohol? Halcyon is another one of those places. I love this place. It's incredibly artsy and hip, with tons of artwork on the walls. It's just a very cool, chill place. I often stop here for a cup of coffee or tea after work and read a book. You can also order s'mores and cook and eat them right at your table. I think it's amazing and ingenious. It's in an excellent location for people watching as well, as it's on 4th Street, right where all of the bars are. Get an outside table and you can see the fashionable 4th Street crowd go by. It gets really crowded on weekend nights, though, so try to go on a weekday or else get there early.
Dress Code: Casual.
Updated Apr 30, 2007
Austin's premiere Goth and Industrial club with offerings almost every night. Tuesdays are Sappho's Isle (lesbian night), Wednesdays is Midwave (underground 80s retro and old school goth), Thursdays & Fridays (live bands and music), Saturdays are Haven - synthpop, eurodance, goth, and industrial; and Sundays are Regression - retro 80s. Austin Chronicle in 2003-2006 voted the venue as Austin's best dance club. Great dance floor, large stage, pool tables, long smoking patio opening out to Red River street, two bars, and excellent staff with great drink prices (boasting best priced in the city). My visit on wednesday's Midwave found free cover, strong drinks for affordable prices, intriguing special drinks they are known for, and an incredible staff, DJ, music, and experience. Patrons were all happy and dancing - it was a blast. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Written Apr 26, 2007
Address: 705 Red River Street, Austin, Texas
Cru may not be an original Austin restaurant/bar, but I still enjoy it. Cru is a trendy little place in the trendy little spot which is on 2nd Street of the Warehouse District. It's small and the furniture makes it a little bit crowded, but the ambience is stylish and cozy and somewhat similar to a European cafe. There's an impressive wine selection, all of which is moderately priced. If it's nice out, get one of the outdoor tables and enjoy a glass of wine and some nice cheese. My book club met here, and it was an excellent location on a weekday night. It was quiet enough to be able to carry on a conversation, which I think is always a plus. On weekends, I'm sure you can get plenty of people watching in if you get an outdoor table. Cru's really at an excellent location.
Dress Code: I wouldn't go dressed in ratty old jeans and sneakers. I even felt slightly underdressed in premium jeans and a vintage-style cardigan, so I would go a step above that. However, it's Austin, and you can surely go dressed in nice jeans if you want.
Written Apr 16, 2007
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