Shhh, Speakeasies are back!
Living in Austin means you're always just a heartbeat away from the best trends anywhere in the world. This is doubly true when it comes to entertainment.
Dedicated to the enduring intrigue of the forbidden, the speakeasy has been enjoying a comeback even though Prohibition hasn’t. Austin is home to some of the best secret spots in the county. Don’t say we sent you, but here are some of our favorites:
Once a massage parlor, or quite possibly a brothel, the talented minds behind The Alamo Drafthouse have created an old-fashioned oasis for sophisticated cocktail sipping, “hidden” right in the heart of bustling 6th street. Hemingway Daiquiris and, of course, martinis, are a favorite in this atmospheric nightspot that expertly harkens to the era of the gin joint. The intimate setting and table side hand-crafted adult beverages are only available to those with reservations - and passwords - which can be requested at www.midnightcowboymodeling.com
Midnight Cowboy: 313 E. 6th Street, Austin, TX 78701
Have you ever been to a really nice hostel and wondered, “I wonder if that bookcase is a secret door to a hidden bar?” Didn’t think so, but now you can! Austin’s oldest firehouse boasts both highly-rated economy accommodation and a fun throwback to a bygone era of revelry.
Firehouse Hostel and Lounge: 605 Brazos Street, Austin, TX 78701
What better place to seek “prohibited” refreshments than at a place named after the French word for sin? Originally opened as Austin’s first absinthe bar after the famous spirit was made legal again after many decades, Péché is dedicated to serving the best old (and new) world spirit concoctions. A New Orleans inspired menu and the historical ambiance make this a very special Austin destination, especially on Sundays and Mondays, when drinks are $5.00. Not quite Roaring 20’s prices, but you won’t have to rob a bank, either.
Péché: 208 W. 4th Street, Austin, TX 78701
The Cloak Room
The oldest of the bunch, this ol' haunt is a favorite with the politico crowd from the Capital. Don’t ask, the bar is in the basement, just where it should be. If you swear or act the fool, you’re gonna hear about it from Bev, the bartender with the non-ironic beehive hairdo. She’s a modern gal, though; you can read her hilarious Twitter feed here. A killer jukebox and generous pours help make “the darkest bar in Austin” also one of its favorites.
The Cloak Room: 1300 Colorado St., Austin, Texas
The Cloak Room's Google+ Page
Finally, a place men just might ask directions to. The Garage is hard to find, since it's hidden inside of an actual Austin parking garage. Not so much speakeasy as just plain fun, The Garage is whimsically designed to serve up inspired spirits and cuisine in a wonderfully unique setting. Weekly live music by local favorite Tameca Jones gets the place hopping. And there’s always plenty of parking.
The Garage: 503 Colorado St., Austin, TX 78701. Located inside the American National Bank building parking structure. www.garagetx.com
A list of speakeasies in Austin wouldn’t be complete without including the spiffy Speakeasy club itself. A fixture of the happening Warehouse District, this large and lively hotspot with three floors of entertainment, including bowling, bands and, naturally, beverages. The club is proud of its trendy translation of “old school charm” and the view from the top is rewarding for the fittest of the hip.
The Speakeasy: 412 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701