With a motto like “Keep Austin Weird,” it is obvious that Austin marches to the beat of its own drum. The free-spirit attitude of Austin is an interesting comparison to its faster paced neighbor Houston. However, the short distance makes Austin a great weekend trip for people who call Houston their home base. Legends like Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan have put Austin on the map as a place for great music. So when Fleetwood Mac added Austin as a location to their 2019 tour, the husband and I decided to make it a weekend event with a great set of friends.
This past weekend was unusually cold for Austin but we set off for day drinking each day like true Texans! But the cold weather encouraged us to turn to the locals for some warmer dives. The result was finding some true gems in Austin that we probably would not have found this trip.
Walking downstairs to enter this place, the speak-easy feel of the underground jazz bar was immediate. According to its Facebook page, it has been around for 28 years and has been ranked as a top ten Jazz venue. The atmosphere was the perfect backdrop for the jazz quartet. I would recommend arriving early to grab a table as it becomes standing room only quickly.
One of the fun parts of this cocktail bar was finding it! With the tiniest of markings on the entry door, we finally found our way in to Small Victory. After being let in by a door(wo)man, we navigated the bar to find a booth that would fit our four top. Its narrow size only allowed for one-sided booth, definitely making for extra friendly conversations. The menu was interesting with speakeasy themed drinks and charcuterie trays. Even though it was a tight squeeze, we loved the ambiance.
Maybe it was the hidden entry door, but the Firehouse Hostel and Lounge was my absolute favorite spot! Located in the oldest standing fire station (1885 – people!), this place is a history nerd/drinker’s dream!
To enter the lounge, you literally roll back the bookcase. Firehouse also has a speakeasy theme with music variety. No music acts were there during our visit but they had a great mixture of music playing while we enjoyed our drinks. Be warned that the bartenders are as authentic as their location; no foo-foo drinks here!
While Stevie & Fleetwood Mac rocked it out, these hidden gems truly made this visit Austin-perfect! Read more about my Austin visit and the book I chose as my accessory here!
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