The calendar may say Tuesday, but I'm blasting Spotify in my earbuds (not AirPods, thank you very much) and Googling happy hour spots at 8 a.m. like it's the Friday before a three-day weekend. Why? Well, tonight specifically is Night 1 of three Vampire Weekend performances at ACL Live at the Moody Theater, though it really could be any day of the week, thanks to the wonderful music scene that our fine city has curated.
ACL Live at the Moody Theater, located at 310 of the aptly named Willie Nelson Blvd., is in the Second Street District, a scooter ride away from the more typical going-out blocks of Sixth and Rainey streets, but nearby are plenty of great happy hour options within its own right. You can, of course, always patronize the venue's own bar, but if you want to stop by elsewhere for a quick drink and bite to eat before a show, below are some good options suggested by the Statesman's web team. Happy hour plans set, and crisis averted, now I can go back to wondering whether they'll play "Diplomat's Son" tonight.
Cookbook Bar & Cafe
710 W. Cesar Chavez St.
Sneak over to the Austin Central Library for a literary-themed libation before your night out. Cocktails with names like "Harry Potter & the Paloma of Fire" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Gin" are hard to pass up, though they have plenty of local beers on draft, too, plus a delicious dinner menu.
Happy Hour: None
Dean's One Trick Pony
111 E. Cesar Chavez St.
The Line Austin hotel's casual restaurant and bar offers a solid discount on creative fare and cocktails until 7 p.m. There's a patio and pool tables, what more could you want?
Happy Hour: Tuesday through Saturday, 4-7 p.m.; $2 beers, $4 snacks, $6 cocktails (extended happy hour on Thursdays until 10 p.m.)
Faregound at One Eleven
111 Congress Ave.
If you have an indecisive group, make plans to meet at Fareground, a food hall and courtyard in the heart of downtown. Featured restaurants include Austin favorites Contigo, Dai Due Taqueria, Henbit, Ni-Kome Sushi & Ramen, TLV and Italic. A brand-new bar, Ellis, recently opened on the street level of the complex by Congress Avenue and Second Street.
Happy Hour: Varies
218 W. 4th Street
Imbibe with your liquid of choice at Halcyon, which offers a full coffee and bar menu—including decadent-sounding coffee cocktails. The best happy hour deal is probably $2 off local beers, which puts you at $2.50 for a Peacemaker. The spinach dip is definitely worth splitting with a friend.
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday, 4-8 p.m.; $2 off Texas beer and liquor, $5 house wine, $2 off spinach dip and hummus
242 W. 2nd St.
Jo's is well-known for its delicious iced coffee and build-your-own breakfast tacos (and, yeah, that "i love you so much" mural) over on South Congress, but the downtown location has got you covered for pre-show noms with an extensive dinner menu and beer. Split the loaded fries, or enjoy the two-for-one burger special on Tuesday nights.
Happy Hour: Tuesdays 5-8 p.m.; two-for-one burgers
401 W. 2nd St.
Fancy BBQ spot Lamberts offers half off bar food and $2 off drinks during happy hour, which puts its barbecue sandwich around $8.50 and cocktails at $10.
Happy Hour: Daily, 5-7 p.m.; half-price appetizers and bar food, $2 off all beverages
Lavaca Street Bar
405 Lavaca St.
Lavaca Street Bar is a solid sports bar option in a sea of upscale Second Street District restaurants and cocktail bars. The dive offers different specials every day of the week on food and drinks. You can also nab a $3 frozen drink if the temperatures hit 100 degrees, which is basically a given this time of year.
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday, 4-7 p.m; $3 well drinks, $2.50 domestics; various daily specials; $3 frozen cocktail if the weather reaches 100 degrees (until Sept. 1)
110 San Antonio St.
Feel French and fancy at Le Politique, which includes its decadent seafood fruits de mer offerings on the happy hour menu and half off its selection of house alcoholic beverages.
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday 3-6 p.m.; half-price house liquor, beer, wine, 25% off fruits de mer
Living Room Bar at The W
200 Lavaca St.
Pop over next door to The W Hotel and explore several different bougie and beautiful bars inside, including the not-so-secret anymore Secret Bar, which is bathed in a vaguely sinister red light. Craft cocktails can be pricey here, so make sure to ask for their happy hour specials if you come by before 7 p.m.
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m.; $5 cocktails and bites
208 W. 4th St.
Taste-test Peche's self-described "sinful cocktails and cuisine" for less during happy hour, which runs all night on Sundays and Mondays, and from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
Happy Hour: Sundays and Mondays all night; Tuesday through Friday 4-7 p.m.; half-price select food, $5 cocktails
Second Bar + Kitchen
200 Congress Ave.
Enjoy locally sourced food with seasonal ingredients at the downtown Second Bar + Kitchen. Happy hour deals extend to the full bar menu, cheese and charcuterie plates, and a variety of pizzas—the "black + bleu" comes topped with black truffle, bleu cheese, pork belly and dates.
Happy Hour: Daily, 4-6 p.m.; $2 off snacks and pizzas, $2 off house cocktails, wines by the glass, 16 oz. draft beer
She's Not Here
440 W. 2nd St.
The year-old restaurant and bar offers creative takes on Pacific Asian cuisine and cocktails.
Happy Hour: Daily, 4-6:30 p.m.; $7 drinks and bites; 50% off bottles of champagne
The Lost Lei
117 W. 4th St.
Brand new bar The Lost Lei is capitalizing on the city's tiki obsession with their tropical-themed establishment, complete with sugary blue drinks and crazy straws in oblong glasses. The happy hour deal offers discounts on a few of their specialty drinks, including the Beach Bum, Caribbean 75, El Diablo, Fog Cutter and the Vicious Virgin.
Happy Hour: Daily, 4-7 p.m.; $7 select signature cocktails, $5 glasses of wine, $3 beer
110 San Antonio St.
The new downtown location is a stone's throw away from the Moody Theater and actually features a full bar menu with margaritas and signature sips like the intriguing "Tequila Temptress."
Happy Hour: Monday through Friday, 3-6 p.m.; $2 off margaritas and signature drinks, $1.50 off beers; Saturdays and Sundays, $3.50 signature brunch drinks