During Prohibition, underground bars became known as “speakeasies” because thesauruses were the only legal tender. Hearken back to a more erudite era with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get a month of free cover for two at Speakeasy for the month of August (a $100 value).
Open seven days a week and occupying three floors of the warehouse district’s historic Kreisel Building, Speakeasy enlivens eardrums and buoys boogies with nightly live music and dancing. August’s musical calendar fills weekend jams with acts including local funk-soul adventurers Dysfunkshun Junkshun and Sunday night sessions with guitar wizard Adam Rogers, who has picked with legends such as Paul Simon and Norah Jones. Wednesday evenings roll out vivacious versions of familiar tunes by The Jukebox Heroes, and Tuesday night salsa lessons unleash pent-up torrents of Latin rhythm. Toes tap at the main floor’s tile bar next to the stage, or unload the body's weight onto the mezzanine area’s cushy seats. A Roaring Twenties atmosphere suffuses both levels with the authenticity of low lighting, rich wood accents, and an owl perched above the main floor bar, a Prohibition-era symbol of proximate potables.
Exactly 59 steps above the mezzanine, under star-flecked skies, the popular Terrace59 presents an outdoor oasis equipped with its own full-service bar, music, and palm trees. Sweeping views of downtown encompass the rooftop, enabling revelers to point out the locations of not-as-fun bars across the city.
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.
412D Congress Ave.
Austin, Texas 78701