I personally love all the F1 madness- free shows, free booze and if you know the right people, free entry into parties that people from around the world are spending tens of thousands of dollars to get into. That being said, I get that it’s not for everyone.
If you’re one of the many folks who miss ‘Old Austin,’ taking a trip to The Moontower Saloon (away from the downtown chaos) can be refreshing. Located on Manchaca Road just South of Slaughter Lane, Moontower regulars have named this bar and the beautiful outdoor venue surrounding it Awesome, Texas.
It’s hard to believe they’ve done so much with this place in just a year. I went not long after it opened and it reminded me of the ‘turn-a-house-into-a-bar’ concept that was completely revamping Rainey Street. What makes The Moontower different though, is the plot of land it sits on and how they’re developing it into a massive playground for adults.
The owners were born and raised in Austin, and created a venue that they would want to hang out at themselves. They’re constantly improving the place, and there’s a good chance that by the time you’re reading this they’ve added more, but here’s a short list of some of the ‘things to do’ there:
- Live Music (always free). They’ve hosted Dale Watson, The Whiskey Sisters and a bunch of other great Austin artists.
- ‘Outdoor beer games.’ I define these as games you can play whilst holding your beer. They have a soft grassy area with corn-hole (that beanbag game) and well-maintained ‘washer pits.’ I can beat you at both.
- They hang a massive TV off the backside of the bar every night, and last time I was there they’d hooked up the original Super Mario Brothers.
- Some of the nicest sand volleyball courts in town. We put a team together for the blog this past season through Austin Sports and Social Club, and even though we never won a game, I still highly recommend it.
- Food trucks: They’ve rotated a few throughout the year but I’ve never been disappointed. Check their website or follow them on Facebook for the latest offerings.
- Just sitting out under the trees around a campfire. Ultimately, it’s the beauty of this place that keeps me going back. And how often do you really get to wear that scarf and beanie in Austin? Ladies, they have furnaces too if you don’t want that new jacket to smell like smoke.
They’ve already bought another plot of land to expand from five acres to ten in 2014; a Trailer-food Park has risen on the adjacent property, and there are rumors of a Hotel San Jose-style boutique hotel and restaurant/bar in the works just up the street. The Moontower is at the forefront of what will eventually be a nightlife and weekend destination for much more than just South Austin residents.
Check the blog this Sunday for more info on their Flood Relief Benefit.
Old Austin Fact: Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic in 1985 was held about a mile away from The Moontower, where the Southpark Meadows shopping center now sits. Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, and Willie headlined the annual event that still runs today (obviously not in the same location).
Hours: 11am -2am Monday through Saturday. Noon-2am Sunday
Location: 10212 Manchaca Road Austin, TX 78748