If there’s one thing Austin has by the truckloads, it’s nightlife. And it’s easy to get sucked into a walkable whirlpool of bars and bands and all-night diners. Here’s a quick review of a night on the town in Austin.
In what used to be an old, run-down Austin neighborhood a new group of cool bars has sprouted. We started at Bar 96 where a great band called Crooks was playing. I rapidly learned to love the live music of Austin. And I was surprised how much I liked the indie/country/bluegrass attitude that much of the music has. Crooks was a great band.
But I immediately fell under the charm of Crooks' sexy banjo/mandolin/glitter guitar/trumpet player, Sam Alberts.
After Bar 96 we headed to Lustre Pearl, a dilapidated building that's been updated without losing the original character of the building. I loved the neon above the living room fireplace. It felt like a Glenn Ligon sculpture that somehow got lost in Austin by way of paris. There was also a SXSW Interactive party going on so there were plenty of free tchotchkes from blinking glasses to glowing ice cubes.
Nearby is the Clive Bar which was the most boring of the three. But it's still a beautiful place to hang out with friends and waste an hour or two.
Of course, you can't just bar hop. There comes a time when you need nourishment. Fortunately, Austin offers a variety of all-night diners like Magnolia. The food was standard diner fare, but the funky vibe was fantastic with it's neon, it's apology for being always open, and the intriguing collages on the walls.
We ended the night at The Ginger Man, a bar with 81 beers on tap. That's enough to make me wish I liked beer. But even if beer isn't your thing, this is one cool, beautiful place. And really, who doesn't like a ginger man?
I just barely scratched the surface of Austin nightlife. So I guess I'll have to plan a return trip for another night on the town.