Though named for a fixture of a bygone era and reportedly haunted by its ghosts, Speakeasy lives in the present: its three floors fill with modern music each night. On the first floor, live music from local bands spills through Speakeasy Live, where hardwood accents, art-deco lamps, candle-lit tables, and exposed brick complement a Jazz Age atmosphere. On the Mezzanine level, a full bar, antique couches, and two vintage bowling lanes overlook the main stage. Lanes are open Tuesday through Sunday.
At the top of a 59-step staircase, patrons emerge onto Terrace59?a neon-lit rooftop lounge that offers panoramic views of downtown Austin. The terrace stays heated during the colder months, while a canopy allows the full bar to serve and lively music to play even in the event of inclement weather and cushions the fall of DJs who decided to parachute in. On each of the three floors, servers pour all kinds of drinks, many of which are named for people, places, and events associated with Prohibition.
Organized by the Austin Sports and Social Club, the community-oriented Downtown Dash TX unleashes teams on a race across the city rife with physical challenges, social interactions, and mental puzzles. The undefined course lets participants choose their own route, but with a catch: travel must be completed on foot or by public transportation, not on bicycles, rollerblades, or stolen emus. While following a clue sheet, teams attempt to topple up to a dozen challenges all while encountering some of Austin's most historic and renowned sites. Upon crossing the finish line, the top three teams receive a special prize, but everyone wins during a postrace party that stretches the day's festivities into the evening. There will also be random drawings in which every team has a chance to win. The race benefits the Austin Sunshine Camps.
Beyond the race, Austin Sports and Social Club offers a range of coed team sports leagues, including soccer, softball, dodgeball, bowling, and sand volleyball. Participants are able to socialize on the court and at team happy hours following games.
Sunset Bowling Lanes opened in 1959 with 24 solid-wood lanes and a stockpile of miniature pencils to keep track of spares and strikes. The alley has since upgraded to computerized scoring systems while also maintaining the charm of classic tenpin entertainment. In addition to its open bowling and league opportunities, Sunset Bowling Lanes hosts events such as college nights—which provide students with discounts so they can save up for books or exam mulligans—and keeps its patrons fueled for the eternal turkey hunt with burgers and drinks from the snack bar.
At Lake Country Lanes, stricken pins burst from the colorful background of a mural that spans the alley. Friends convene for play at traditional or bumper lanes lined with well-polished wood, and an automatic scoring system prevents opponents from clandestinely changing scores of 3 to 8 or 8 to infinity. Nearby, pool tables and video games foster competition off the lanes, and a bar with high-definition TVs and a dance floor spikes family fun with some adult recreation.
Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $9.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (a $3.59 value).
Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, Astro SuperBowl dims the lights for a cosmic bowling experience that embodies the center's intergalactic theme. The rest of the week, the facility rumbles under more earthly bulbs as bowlers blitz pins during rounds of open bowling, tournaments, leagues, and parties. Instead of using synthetic material or giant planks of butter to make slick surfaces, Astro SuperBowl whittled each of its 44 lanes from real wood. The bowling center surrounds its lanes with a spread of other amenities, including a full-service bar, a game room, and a pro shop run by a certified ball driller. The facility has also been recently renovated to include 44 40-inch flat screen televisions, a modernized scoring system, and updated ball racks and returns.