Shhhh… What’s the password?
Austin’s hidden bars and speakeasies provide a unique experience away from the chaos of Sixth Street, but if you’re looking for an easy entrance, you won’t find it. The Daily Texan has compiled a list of the best ways to get into some of Austin’s hidden bars and speakeasies.
Firehouse Lounge is located within the Firehouse Hostel and Austin’s oldest standing firehouse that dates back to 1885. The Firehouse Lounge has a cozy interior that reflects the history of the building. Besides having a great drink menu which features a gold rush (bourbon, honey and lemon) or a fitzgerald (gin, lemon, sugar and angostura bitters), Firehouse hosts local bands, representing everything from jazz to classic rock. More times than not the shows are free.
How to get in: There is not a secret password or wizzardy required for entry. It is simply first come first serve — just relive your childhood fantasy of sliding a bookshelf to reveal a hidden room. In this case, the bookshelf is located to the right of the reception desk.
In the basement of the Buenos Aires Cafe, the Milango Room is stuck in time in 1920s Argentina. It is a themed speakeasy where you can enjoy a Flamenco performance and classic Argentine cuisine like empanadas. In Argentina, Milonga is the term for tango music and the dance itself. The menu reflects Argentine drinking traditions such as bitters and fernets. Not all live music performances are announced ahead of time so guests tend to be in for a surprise.
How to get in: You have to make a reservation by texting 512-593-1920. Upon being confirmed for your reservation, you will receive a password that you then recite at the door when you arrive at the Milonga Room. Simply head to the back alley behind the Buenos Aires Cafe and ring the doorbell.
Red Headed Stepchild
Red Headed Stepchild is located in the Floppy Disk Repair Co. off of 5th street and Brazos. If it is your first time coming across the Floppy Disk Repair Co. you probably would not give it a second thought, but behind the mirrored windows and locked door, there is a classic speakeasy — not an actual floppy disk repair shop. Once inside, there are whimsical swings hanging from the ceiling around the bar and neon signs all over the walls. The bar only fits 50 people so no matter how hard you work to get in the door, you can still be turned away. So be sure to get there early.
How to get in: The password required to enter is merely word of mouth and changes frequently. If you want to get in, ask around. Once you have the password, enter it on the keypad to the left of the door.
Garage is a cocktail bar infamously located within a fully functioning parking garage off of Colorado Street and conveniently located under one of the ramps inside, making it one of Austin’s most unassuming bars. On the outside of the parking garage you will see the word “Cocktail.” From there, look for a vertical turquoise neon sign that marks the bar’s entrance. If you manage to find it, try the Indian Paintbrush, a drink made up of vodka, grapefruit, lime and rosemary — the beverage earned itself the title of The Official Drink of Austin in 2015.
How to get in: You just have to successfully find it. It’s not terribly difficult, just look for a parking garage. There is no password required for entry.