When it's SXSW, you can't swing a dead armadillo without hitting at least ten events but make sure you explore these destination party spots that are classic Austin landmarks and well worth checking out. Pop-up parties throbbing with industry types are well and good but go mingle with the locals to get a true taste of that notorious Southern hospitality... if you're picking up what we're putting down...
East Side Showroom
1100 East 6th St.
• How are we not going to offer propers to this Austin watering hole with a baroque interior, gallery exhibitions, and live jazz/honky tonk music, especially when they have something on the extensive menu called the Cajun seafood pie? Also, not for nothing, they sell furniture, have all local produce but most importantly, the bartender is this freakshow mixology savant of a caliber that locals are gonna be salty to see blown up.
201 East 6th St.
• Right across the street from the Driskill hotel on the louche pub crawl that is E. 6th St., you'll find cheap bear, Tex-Mex calzones, and 22,000 square feet of raucous entertainment at Buffalo Billiards. There are pool tables (obvi) but also every imaginable sports game and/or video game on a seemingly endless supply of TVs. There is also foosball.
The Landing Strip
745 S. Bastrop Hwy
• The thing about SXSW is that, whether you're working or not, you're basically on vacation. The Landing Strip is definitely a vacation-type of gentleman's club. The girls are lovely, the location non-depressing/seedy, and the patrons aren't seemingly teetering on the brink of something sad and dark. Besides, THIS is the joint featured on such classic films as Varsity Blues and Grind House. What more is there?
Casino el Camino
517 East 6th St.
• OK, full disclosure: this dive bar has maybe been on Guy Fieri's TV show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and that may or may not repulse you. But please, for the love of incredible burgers, sensational bloody Mary's, and the "Best Jukebox in Austin" don't count this one out. Perfect for tatted-up suicide girl watching.
The Continental Club
1315 South Congress Ave.
• Opened in 1957 as a private supper club, this "Grandaddy" is the crown jewel for Austin's reputation as the live music capital of the world. It's also thought to be the first venue to sell liquor by the drink in Travis County. In the '60s it was turned into Austin's first burlesque club but these days is strictly rock 'n roll, and on any given Wednesday night you can catch Austin roots legends like James McMurtry and Jon Dee Graham, just saunter up to play.
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