Thursday nights can mean many things depending on where you are. It’s college night somewhere, it’s lady’s night somewhere else, but it’s Thirsty Thursday everywhere! We’ve gotten ourselves through most of the week and we’re just a day away from Saturday, so why not kick off the weekend early and say curfew be damned! Here is a rundown of can’t-miss Thirsty Thursdays around Austin that have us all saying TGIT.
Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden – 79 & 81 Rainey St
Located off the ever popular Rainey Street, Banger’s is a friendly southern spot with plenty of character and fun in the heart of downtown Austin. The interior of the restaurant is modest and somewhat small, like most of the bars and restaurants on Rainey, but the shining accomplishment of this honkey-tonk hangout is their enormous backyard with picnic tables, a dog park and a huge dancefloor. Their meat-centric menu includes 30 house made sausages and over 100 beers on tap. And on top of all that hoppy goodness you can enjoy Country Thunder Thursdays every Thursday night from 8PM-11PM with live Country music, boisterous dancing and beers aplenty.
The Goodnight – 2700 W. Anderson Ln
Catering to the adults in Austin who haven’t quite grown out of games, The Goodnight is a super fun after-hours spot where you can enjoy drinks, food, billiards, bowling and weekly events like Geeks Who Drink Trivia and Adult Bingo. The eclectic menus at the Goodnight range from brunch and lunch to dinner and cocktails, with sophisticated finger foods, tapas, flatbreads and small bites at a reasonable price. But if you stop by on a Thursday from 8PM-12AM, you can enjoy some tasty snacks on special like the $6 fried pickles and $7 brisket chili frito pie, plus a $2 ride on their mechanical bull, El Jefe!
South Congress Hotel – 1603 S. Congress Ave
Right in the center of the hip SoCo district, the South Congress Hotel is a sexy boutique hotel that has been visited by elites, celebrities and adventurous Austinites alike. Along with a prime location and luxurious amenities, this modern hotel also features an upscale café and an American grill where you can get delicious eats and hand crafted cocktails. Though they have regular happy hours every week, South Congress Hotel opens their doors to all guests for a special first Thursday every month from 6PM-9PM where you can enjoy live music, specialty seasonal drinks, an interactive photo booth and partner-sponsored swag to take home. This indelibly Austin event is definitely worth a visit on Thursday night.
Icenhauer’s – 83 Rainey St
Another beloved Rainey St. establishment, Icenhauer’s is a small house-turned bar that offers tasty hand crafted drinks made with fresh ingredients and a charming outdoor patio where they host a slew of fun events every week. Along with a decent selection of local beers and wines, this hipster bar has great happy hour specials every night like $3 off lady-named cocktails on Wednesdays and $2 mimosas on Sundays. And on Thursdays, not only can you enjoy killer drink specials, but you can also dance til you drop to all your favorite old-school hits played by Love and Happiness at Icenhauer’s weekly Throwback Thursday.
Spiderhouse Café & Ballroom – 2908 Fruth St
A well-known performance spot in south Austin, Spiderhouse Café & Ballroom is a unique event space and bar when you can find DJ’s, live music, poetry slams, comedians and other local performers. Their ballroom specializes in craft cocktails as well as special events and shows that draw visitors from all around like “S*** Faced Shakespeare” and Open Mic Comedy Night. But for a more real and raw performance experience, check out the monthly Testify show that takes place on the last Thursday of every month at 7:30PM, where you can hear real people – some professionals, some not – sharing real stories that span the human experience. If you’re one that subscribes to that deep existentialist school of thought, then this is for sure a must-see event in Austin.
Mohawk – 912 Red River St
Renowned for hosting some of the most talented local and visiting musicians, Mohawk is a multi-level pseudo-dive in downtown Austin that boasts a rooftop deck, indoor and outdoor stages and a booze-packed bar. They’ve got happy hours every day from 5PM-8PM with cheap daily specials, a handful of rotating “dranks” with local craft beers and IPA’s from their Green Room and live music most nights. But if you’re into the classics and have a collection of vinyl you’d like to dust off and use, bring your favorites to BYOVinyl Happy Hour at Mohawk every Thursday from 5PM-9PM with open turn tables, where “You Bring Em, You Spin Em”.
Shady Grove – 1624 Barton Springs Rd
Tucked away near bustling south 1st Street, Shady Grove is a casual restaurant and bar with good ol’ greasy American food, bars inside and outside and an impressive outdoor area that includes a sprawling green lawn, stage, dance floor and outdoor dining area underneath gorgeous pecan trees and string lights.
This friendly patio-style restaurant has plenty of good Texas vibes and a welcoming atmosphere – thought it’s worth mentioning that it can get pretty packed on a Thursday or Friday night. Throughout the warmer months in Austin, Shady Grove partners up with KSGR to bring locals free live music and picnicking under the stars at Unplugged at the Grove, every Thursday from April til September. This sonorous sunset event is perfect for families, friends and local music lovers of all ages.
Butterfly Bar at the Vortex – 2307 Manor Rd
A true hidden gem in east Austin, Butterfly Bar at the Vortex is a hybrid dive bar and theatre where you can enjoy cheap drinks, friendly conversation and interesting events and performances in one of the kookiest dive bar settings you’ve ever seen. There’s plenty of seating indoor and outdoors plus a tiny little wooden bar inside complete with a fat bar cat that can be seen mingling among the guests, plus movies under the stars, magic shows and other surprise treats. But the reason to visit Butterfly Bar on a Thursday night is to experience a one-of-a-kind tarot reading with Sarah. Whether you’re a psychic seeker or a skeptic looking for proof, this is definitely something you don’t wanna miss!