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Sep 19, 2011 06:40 AM

Hosting a cocktail hour in Austin

Hi, I am from Boston and planning a cocktail party for some customers in Austin. Would love to find that local favorite, funky bar that would get people excited to attend and drink some great cocktails and fine microbrews. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. They work near the domain but that's not a requirement.


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  1. Fairly close to the domain is north by Northwest (NXNW). They brew their own beer. Not sure if they have a full bar. It's been a couple of years since i was there, but the food was pretty good.
    It's not real funky, but certainly not sterile, or fake kitschy ala Chili's, Friday's, BJ's, etc.
    I'm sure you can find more recent reviews on this board.

    2 Replies
      1. re: TroyTempest

        They do have a full bar, and although the beer is the primary focus, they have passable cocktail skills.

      2. The Highball is far from the domain, but is as industrial-strength funky as it gets - and their cocktails are dandy. Not sure about beer - they have plenty but why go there for beer? And there's bowling and karaoke for those who don't want to drink cocktails / have downed one too many....

        1. Contigo in East Austin offers lots of outdoor space, good bar food, and great drinks. Lots of local and micro brews on tap. Washer pits if you get bored...

          They just added happy hour specials also

          1. Is this going to be an after-work soiree? If so, don't underestimate the amount of traffic on Mopac (both directions) during the hours of 4:00 - 7:00. It's a long schlep by car if you end up doing something in south or east Austin, say. There is no worthwhile public transit here either, so factor that in as well, unless you're renting a party bus.

            Near the Domain, I'd vote for
            - North By Northwest
            - Draught House. Beer only (they brew their own + 75 or so others on tap), but you cannot beat the atmosphere.
            - Cover 3 - think upscale sports bar. Decent selection of beer, cocktails are good. Plus they have an upstairs party room you can rent out and the food there is pretty decent.

            1. Besides NXNW there are the Roaring Fork at Stonelake Blvd. and Z Tejas near the Arboretum. For a pub atmosphere (no cocktails) BB Rovers on Jollyville has a great beer selection and good bar food.