The producers of one of Austin’s biggest parties every year have now opened a sophisticated wine and cocktail lounge.
Moonfire Lounge will become the new long-term site of the Blu Party, thrown in celebration of Formula One weekend in October, but it’s also a daily source of revelry in the Warehouse District. Weekends promise more of a dance club vibe with DJ beats, while weeknights are more low-key, according to Ginger Leigh, the vice president of Blu Party creators Formula Expo Inc. and a well-known local musician.
"As dressy as it is, it’s also got an organic, down-to-earth vibe," Leigh said, noting that flashier decor — gold light fixtures, an electric fireplace — are balanced with reclaimed wood elements.
Moonfire, named in part for a long-ago Italian restaurant once located there, Mezzaluna, primarily serves up mixed drinks and wines by both the glass and bottle. The cocktail menu is divided into classics, bubbly booze like the French 75, and original creations with the word ‘moon’ in the names, such as the Dark Side of the Moon with Texas whiskey, mint, lemon, blueberries and simple syrup. These are all between $10-$14.
There is also an extensive wine list, which Leigh said makes the lounge far more than just a nightclub or a cocktail bar.
"We have wines from all over the world," she said. "Something to meet everybody’s tastes: pinot noirs, cabernets, merlots, whites along the same lines. But we also have Argentinian and Italian varieties. Not every category has multiple wines because then we’d be more like Cru (Wine Bar, in the Second Street District), but we have at least one from every category, including rosés and bubbles."
The lounge also has a small menu of bar bites, primarily charcuterie and cheese boards, as well as assorted chocolates.
Leigh and Formula Expo Inc.’s president, Ian Weightman, noticed that downtown Austin didn’t seem to have a bar with "a contemporary lounge vibe catering to people who enjoy a more high-end experience," she said, and Weightman had been wanting a space of his own to host the Blu Party. To them, Moonfire fulfills both those needs.
Come October, when the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix revs through the Circuit of the Americas race track for the fifth straight year, the Blu Party will find a new home at Moonfire and will thus change slightly from what regular party-goers have come to expect. It’ll be smaller and more exclusive, Leigh said.
"We’ll swap out some of the furnishings at Moonfire to identify the party as Blu, but it’ll be otherwise the same, with car companies, celebrities, potentially drivers," Leigh said.
The Blu Party, according to the soiree’s website, has attracted big names like Christian Bale, Gerard Butler and Enrique Iglesias in the past.
Before the Blu Party, the Moonfire will prove its party prowess with a grand opening celebration on Sept. 9 and will have multiple DJs playing music, a champagne toast, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and more. In the meantime, you can check out the sophisticated space at 310 Colorado St. starting at 4 p.m. daily.
For more information, visit moonfirelounge.com.
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