Firehouse Lounge – 1 of ATX’s best known “secret bars”
Firehouse Lounge is located in a…you might have guessed it…retired historical firehouse built in 1885 (fun trivia fact: it is the oldest built fire station still standing in Austin). Hidden just beyond a bookcase (yes, that’s the door) in the lobby of the adjacent hostel, you walk into a dimly lit quasi-swanky, speakeasy-ish, hipster-ish (without so many skinny jeans) space with cozy couch seating and a smallish bar that has stools so tall my 5’6″ self has to literally crawl up onto. Caution: the trip down post libations is even trickier.
Firehouse has some great mixologists and offer several signature craft and classic cocktails. Beer (including local crafts) and wine (small choice of reds, whites, rosé and bubbles) available as well; however, the Lounge just screams “drink something fancy!” Choose from one of their choices off the board or tell them what you like (vodka) and/or don’t like (overly sweet foo foo) and they will create a unique masterpiece with your name on it. Firehouse also happens to make one the best Dirty Martinis in Austin in my humble opinion, and they happily double up on the olives and onions as per request. Really great staff and good vibes all around.
It is one of my favorite downtown haunts if in desire of a good cocktail and people watching. There is always a very diverse crowd: drifters off dirty 6th, visitors venturing from upscale The Driskill Hotel across the street, young people traveling from across the globe who are bunking upstairs, and regulars. Always guaranteed to be a good time with friends and is an excellent stop before or after downtown dining or a “night on the town.” There is literally something for everybody, inlcudung free live music on select nights – no cover. As if you need more incentive, Firehouse offers happy hour 7 days a week from open until 8pm (includes select discounted food and drink).
The kitchen is open Wednesday through Saturday from open until 11pm and includes limited tasty small plates all for about 10$ each: sliders, tacos, and brushcetta. They also have bar snacks available anytime for purchase: chips and salsa, nuts, and hummus. No table service for food or drinks; order and pick up at the bar. Maybe I’ll see you there. Cheers!
605 Brazos Street
Austin, TX 78701
Mon-Wed 5pm-2am; Thur 2pm-2am; Fri-Sun 12pm-2am.
Instagram & Twitter: @austinfirehouse