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Midnight Cowboy occupies a space that was once a brothel, with a bare red lightbulb being the only indicator of the existence of this speakeasy on the infamous street. Interiors have been completely overhauled and now sport a sleek and stylish vibe. Ornate light fittings, plush private booths and Victorian-themed wallpapers make up the intimate space. On offer is a refined selection of cocktails, mixed with skill by the bar team, some done tableside with much flourish by the period-attired bartenders. Reservations are recommended as only a limited number can be seated at the intimate bar.
Built to honor the late great Johnny Cash, the Mean Eyed Cat has a crowded back patio and plenty of man-in-black collectibles. The Mean Eyed stage, featuring live music almost every night of the week, is popular with patrons of all ages. Order a shot at the bar to go down, down, down into a burning ring of fire.
Handlebar, a rooftop bar in Downtown Austin, is a popular hangout place that is known for its offbeat theme and an overall fun setting. This bar is full of quirky one liners, posters and photos praising mustaches. The entire theme seems to revolve around moustaches as you can try different types of mustache and get your photos clicked at the photo booth in here. The drinks menu here is diverse with wide range of craft beer, whiskeys and cocktails to choose from. Riding the rocking horse or seesawing on the terrace with your friend after downing few drinks in here is fun and a must try. You can also challenge your friend to a game of jenga or simply enjoy the breathtaking view from the rooftop.
While a bit of a dive, this North Austin neighborhood bar certainly has character. In Lulu's, it's Christmas 365 days a year with lights, trees and the Elf on the Shelf ever-present. The comfortable seating and crazy atmosphere at Lala's Little Nugget make for a fun and relaxing time. It has gained a reputation as both an unpretentious place to unwind and a haven for those in the know who are looking to get away from the downtown scene. Certain well-known film directors have been known to frequent the bar while in town. Expect no-nonsense service from the full-bar, with pool tables and a jukebox that offers many offbeat and retro selections.
Broken Spoke is a western honky-tonk that was established in 1964 and rapidly became an Austin favorite for country-western dancing. The “Spoke” is true country in a real dance hall with a real wood-plank floor. Watch cowboys and locals two-step the night away to live bands from around Texas. This dance hall provides an excellent atmosphere for those just learning to two-step or die-hard country fans driving in from the ranch for the weekend. Practice the Polka, Texas Two-Step or the Chicken, and be sure to try the Cotton-Eyed Joe. There is also a restaurant that serves traditional country food like chicken fried steak.
Carousel Lounge is a mildly unorthodox bar in Austin, with a crazy circus theme. Check out the pink elephant and lion-tamer murals including a real miniature carousel behind the bar. Carousel Lounge is well-known for their unpredictable stage acts, from amazing musical acts or sensuous belly-dancers. Opened in the 1960s, this bar is still the favorite of many an Austin resident. The bar has a divey feel to it, with drinks available at dirt cheap rates.
Container Bar is built around a novel concept, wherein a bar is constructed amid a courtyard by using old shipping containers. Guests can be seated inside one of the furnished containers or in the outdoor area, surrounded by trees. This eco-friendly establishment believes in recycling and uses four tons of unwanted metal in the form of these containers. The building has acquired a boxy look owing to these structures and stands out from the street. Guests can sip a selection of spirits such as Gin and Tonic served neat and classic cocktail blends like the vodka-infused Moscow Mule at this bar.