Few things are as quintessentially Austin in nature as whiling away the late afternoon hours on a patio or porch with a drink in hand, enjoying good company and good music as the sun sets in the distance. Knowing this, the folks behind ACL Live host “The Wine Down,” a 10-week series of free events each spring, bringing together the best local live music with drink specials, tasty bites and a heaping helping of laid-back downtown atmosphere. Each Wednesday through June 5, the ACL Live music porch opens to the public for free with a midweek happy hour that’s not to be missed.
ACL Live Music Porch, 310 Willie Nelson Blvd (2nd and Lavaca)
Wednesdays, 5-7 pm, now through June 5
Admission is free: see website for live music schedule and details
It seems The Domain is on a mission to reinvent itself from an open-air shopping center into a full-fledged entertainment complex. After opening a host of iPic theaters and throwing several large concerts on its campus, it recently became neighbors with a go-kart track and introduced a sports bar in the Aloft hotel, and now, we can add HD golfing to the list of things to do within the upscale retail district. The Range Golf Center and Sports Bar, located across from the Fiat dealership, is essentially a sports bar on steroids, with two golf simulators, a private sound system, lounge seating, multiple televisions, a projection screen and a private room for special events. Whether you’re looking for a swanky spot to watch the big game or just want to practice your swing away from the blazing sun, The Range is on par to deliver whatever you need — no mulligans necessary.
10910 Domain Drive (across from Fiat)
Mon-Thu: 11 am-midnight / Fri: 11 am-2 am
Sat: 10 am-2 am / Sun: 10 am-midnight
See The Range website for more details
Whole Foods has long been as much of an experience as it is a grocery store; launched from right here in Austin, the grocer makes a point of engaging all the senses when you walk through its doors into its gastronomic paradise of every color, scent and flavor imaginable. That experience can now be heightened by the presence of beer and wine on tap — yes, we said on tap — at Whole Foods’ Austin locations, as well as several other throughout the country as it rolls out a test program to see if the on-site bar concept will work nationwide. We can already tell them the answer; it’s a resounding “YES.” Keep an eye on the Whole Foods Austin Facebook page for happy hour specials and other fun morsels of news.
3 locations in Austin (South, North, and Bee Cave);
visit Whole Foods ATX on Facebook for addresses and details.
It’s safe to say we’re spoiled for choice around here when it comes to good food, and particularly so when it comes to good Tex-Mex. As if we weren’t already overwhelmed with options, we now have one more: the Houston-based Tex-Mex bastion known as Lupe Tortilla has opened its 14th location here in Austin, squarely placed in the parking lot of the Arbor Walk Shopping Center on North Mo-Pac, just before the Domain. Known for its fajitas and fresh margaritas, we just might have to test its mettle.
Sun-Thurs 11 am-10 pm, Fri-Sat 11 am-11 pm (HH: Mon-Fri 3-6 pm)
Arbor Walk Shopping Center, 10515 N. Mopac Expressway
See website for menu and details
Sometimes after a long workweek, you just need to kick up your heels and enjoy some good jazz. Although Austin is known for its live music scene, the typical genres that spring to mind range from country and blues of The Continental Club and Antone’s to the of-the-moment hipster rock that dominates the streets during South By Southwest every year. But there’s a little-known gem tucked away at the corner of 3rd and Congress; the (literally) underground jazz club known asThe Elephant Room. Open seven nights a week, generally with two shows per evening, the room’s been in operation for several decades. It hosts a full bar and boasts nightly jazz. Weekends draw a crowd fairly early and there’s typically a cover charge, but locals know that weeknights are the best bet for a cold drink and hot jazz, generally for less than a ten-spot. Can’t beat that.
Location: 315 Congress Avenue
M-F: 4 pm-2 am / Sa-Su 8 pm-2 am
Happy Hour bands play at 6 pm; headliners play at 9:30 pm