Posts Tagged ‘downtown


Night Owls on New Year’s

The time has come for us to go our separate ways. May everyone have a great holiday break and come back refreshed and rejuvenated, ready for another (maybe your last?) semester of school. If you happen to be sticking around Austin, however, I am sure you will be looking for something amazing to do for New Year’s Eve. I’ve never stayed in the city for the holidays, so I can’t vouch for anything, but hopefully one of these options can provide some fun for you.

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears are playing their second annual New Year’s show at Stubb’s (8th and Red River). Tickets are $32, but include a barbecue buffet and champagne toast. Doors open at 9 pm. buy tickets here

Robert Earl Keen, Randy Rogers Band, Wade Bowen and Band of Heathens are playing Austin Music Hall  (2nd and Nueces). Tickets are $50 for general admission or $75 for two balcony seats. Doors open at 7 pm. buy tickets here

Joe Ely is playing Antone’s (W. 5th). Tickets are $30 and doors open at 9 pm. buy tickets here

First Night Austin happens throughout the downtown area, specifically Auditorium Shores. This will be the 5th year the city of Austin celebrates the New Year with this even that provides  “Austinites and Central Texas with a free, inter-generationally programmed, family-friendly, alcohol-free, public celebration, showcasing the unique culture of Austin through expressive, creative traditions of performing and visual arts.” The events begin at 4 pm and the website has a schedule of the full day. Within the free event, one can also buy tickets to the “Long First Night,” a banquet at the Long Center. Regular tickets are $15 until Dec. 18th when they go up to $20 and give you access to the cash bar, food and entertainment. VIP tickets include access to the Long Center and all entertainment, as well as access to open bars, complimentary buffets and chefs stations, and a private VIP party.  They are $95 until the 18th, when they go up to $110. buy tickets here

Alamo Drafthouse Ritz New Year’s Bash is a showing of the classic 1960’s film The Apartment with a classy five course meal consisting of a club sandwich, sweet and sour lobster with Maitake dumpling, chicken noodle soup, braised lamb shank, and strawberry chocolate fruitcake. Tickets are pricey at $75 each, but that includes your meal. The show begins at 7 pm. buy tickets here

Happy holidays! It’s been a pleasure writing for you.


Poetry Slam & Dance

In a recent blog, I posted something about a new group karaoke smack-down  that would be a fun place to go after work. That competition was exciting but tomorrow night will be the ultimate smack down of words and jazz hands. It’s the weekly Austin Poetry Slam, Vocal, and Dance Competition put on by O.P. M Entertainment. This is one of Central Texas’ premiere places to be for Thursday late-night cocktails and fun. There’s live entertainment, with everything from rhythmic dance moves to expressive poetry. All of this will surely awaken even sleep-deprived college students.

Courtesy of O.P.Ms Facebook Profile

A few People on Stage

Lyricists, dancers and singers from all around Austin are welcome to participate or just sit back and watch the show. Spoken word and dancing is every Thursday night at The Parish Room , located on 214 E. 6th St.  After each poetry and dance battle,  The Parish Room turns into a club playing the top Hip Hop and R&B music. DJ Dontizl mixes the hottest music until 2 AM.

DJ Dontizl

Creator of O.P.M Entertainment, Chas Moore, said “We bring you four events in one night.
[It will be] hosted by two-time Austin Poetry Slam Champion, Christopher Michael.”
 I have to admit O.P.M events are pretty exciting. There last major event, besides the poetry competitions, was the Jay-Z concert after party. While there were several other parties for Jay-Z, many people who attended the one by O.P.M said it was one of the best.  O.P.M. events are always pretty successful and every once in a while you’ll spot a Hip Hop celebrity at an event.

Cocktail Hour

Performances have the opportunity to possibly win $1000 in each of the three categories—poetry, dance, and singing. So if you think you have what it takes to impress Austinites with  creative expressions, this might be a great competition to enter. But if you’re really good, the top acts compete in the The Showcase for a $5000 cash prize, later in the year.


Time Warp Back to 1997

On Thursday evenings, Alamo Drafthouse’s downtown location, The Ritz, hosts its famous sing-along shows. As I mentioned in a previous post, these shows are a great example of things to do that are completely unique to Austin. I had the opportunity to attend the 1997 Sing-Along last Thursday and had an absolute blast.

The idea is basically group karaoke. For about two hours, music videos play on the giant movie screen with words to follow along. You can remain in the audience area and sing to your hearts content, or even get up on the stage in front of the screen and put on your own show.

Two hosts guide the crowd through the experience and get everyone excited and involved in the show.

Our hosts for the evening dressed the part in 1997 fashion.

It was my friend’s 21st birthday so they called her up on the stage for a free shot.

The birthday girl is standing in the middle wearing a dress.

Then the show began with “Bittersweet Symphony” by the Verve. I was expecting the show to cater more toward people who remember only the most extremely popular music of 1997– Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Hanson– but it surprised me by including popular music from many genres. Sublime, Foo Fighters, Third Eye Blind and Radiohead evened out the bubblegum pop. Reply in the comments if you know what song this is:

I feel like people tend to forget about this artist when they think of the '90s.

I won’t  give away the whole playlist, because Alamo still has two more showings for ’90s lovers– tomorrow night at 9:50 pm and next Thursday at 9:45 pm. I recommend purchasing your tickets now online because sing-alongs tend to sell out many hours before their showings. If you miss the 1997 shows, Christmas sing-alongs begin the following week.  Not only do you get to sing popular versions of holiday hits, but afterward the audience is invited to carol up and down 6th street, spreading Christmas cheer to all of downtown.

320 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701


TGIT (Thank Goodness It’s Thursday)

This semester I have been blessed with NO FRIDAY CLASSES, the holy grail of college schedules, in my opinion. This means that when Thursday comes around, my weekend has officially started. Here are some of the things I usually end up doing on Thursdays, seeing as I can afford to lose the sleep.


Cain & Abels — as I have mentioned before, this is one of my favorite places to hang out near campus. The special on Thursdays is $6 Texas Teas all day long. Out of context, this might not seem like a deal, but usually these large drinks served in mason jars are $8 a pop!

Lil’ Woodrow’s — With locations on the drag, West 6th, Parmer, South Park Meadows and Bee Caves, Lil’ Woodrow’s is kind of ubiquitous around Austin these days. Thursdays on the drag offer 25 oz. mugs of domestics and premium domestics for $4.

Plucker’s (Rio Grande) — At Plucker’s wing bar, Thursdays are Tijuana Thursdays featuring $2 margaritas and Tecates, $2.50 for all other Mexican beers and $4 Mexican martinis.

**DOWNTOWN (note: there are limitless night owl activities available on Thursday nights downtown, these are just a few that I have personally partaken in and enjoyed)

photo by John R Rogers

6th street (photo by John R. Rogers)

Alamo Drafthouse Ritz — Tonight you have three choices: Michael Jackson sing-a-long, Heathers quote-a-long or a showing of the new Michael Jackson movie This Is It. Obviously this is more than just a movie theater. They provide a full dinner menu along with beer, wine and some cocktails. I have plans of attending a sing-a-long next Thursday and will definitely be reporting back on it!

Shakespeare’s — Every Thursday, this 6th street dive offers $5 pitchers of any “well” drink. Plan on taking a cab or the e-bus home after that!

Cedar Street Courtyard — With its large, multi-level outdoor patio on 4th street in the warehouse district, this venue is perfect Austin’s fall weather. Cedar Street is known for its live entertainment, usually cover bands, and a full bar. Thursdays have lately featured Skyrocket!, the winner of SXSW 2007’s Best Cover Band. They play mostly 70’s and 80’s party hits.

Peckerhead’s, Maggie Mae’s and Mooseknuckle — all on 6th street, all have $2 you-call-its.

I know there are tons more Thursday night owl activities for central Austinites. Leave your favorites in the comments section and have fun and be safe tonight!


Here’s to the Halcyon

It’s after dark and you’re feeling indecisive. Halcyon, on 4th and Lavaca in the warehouse district, can provide various forms of entertainment to fulfill your needs. This spot, open until 2am weekdays and 3am weekends, is a coffee shop, restaurant, bar, lounge and cigar shop all rolled into one. Tonight I took advantage of the unique dessert, tabletop s’mores, and also ordered an iced thai coffee to wash it down and keep me awake for studying.

I think the s’mores are the coolest part of this late-night lounge. A miniature fireplace is brought to your table and you can roast your marshmallows to your personal liking while sitting on oversized couches or bar stools. I wanted to take some video, but the lighting inside was pretty dark and it didn’t quite come out.

halcyon 003

Table-top marshmallow roaster

They even provide a few guidelines to prevent Halcyon from burning down because of a freak marshmallow inferno.

halcyon 002

Halcyon's S'More Guidelines

S’mores for two included enough materials to make a total of four marshmallow and chocolate treats and costs $6. Bump it up to a four person serving and it costs $9. It’s not the cheapest of late night options, but the novelty and convenient hours make up for it.

Halcyon also provides free WiFi, making it a great choice for late night studying. The only problem is it tends to be more bar/lounge oriented after dinner time, so the music might be a little loud for intense studying. I recommend going between 2pm and 5pm for Halcyon’s “office hours” if you need to get work done. They turn down the music, serve bottomless tea, coffee, and soda , and provide free printing and faxing. But that’s during the day…not sure how we night owls feel about going out before dark.


218 W 4th St,. Austin, TX
(512) 472-9637


Monday         7am – 2am
Tuesday        7am – 2am
Wednesday   7am – 2am
Thursday      7am – 2am
Friday           7am – 3am
Saturday       8am – 3am
Sunday          8am – 2am