For the longest time, bingo has been associated with smoky halls and somber retirement homes. But bars all over Austin are turning this old folk’s game on its head and giving it a much needed makeover. Now it’s not just rusty bingo ball cages and monotone M.C’s running the game…bingo night in Austin is another chance to go all out and get weird! So from drag queens to DJ’s to dirty words, here is a list of the most bizarre bingo nights in Austin and where to find them.
Drag Bingo at Bout Time 2
Tucked away in north Austin, Bout Time 2 is neighborhood gay bar and speakeasy that serves up cheap drinks, friendly service and plenty of pride-fueled fun. Inside the bar, you can dance til you drop or head outside and play a game of volleyball on their outdoor sand court. Bout Time 2 is also known for hosting some oddball weekly events that draw a diverse array of visitors, from Latin Nights and ladies nights to Texas Hold Em and Ru Paul viewing parties. But one of the most outrageous events at BT2 has to be their weekly Drag Bingo, starring the talented Vegas Van Cartier. This gender-bending bingo game is sure to keep you entertained all night!
One of the city’s oldest and most popular honky tonk spots, Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon is a perfect little slice of Texas tradition right in the heart of Austin. This teeny saloon is famous for hosting talented country music performers from all around as well as throwing one of the bizarre weekly bingo games in all of Austin! The Little Longhorn’s outrageous Chicken Sh** Bingo takes place every Sunday inside the bar and uses actual chickens and chicken crap to play! This is not metaphorical chicken sh**…this is literal sh**…on a bingo board…and it’s definitely something you have to see for yourself!
Another one of Austin’s happening gay bars/nightclubs, Highland Lounge is a super swanky, high end club that offers hand crafted drinks and hours of dancing and entertainment on their sprawling open dance floor. With groovy DJ’s and great drink specials every night, the Highland is a great place to take a date or a group of friends for some dancing and debauchery. But if you really want to up the ante and show them a good time, then take your group to the Highland’s Underground Bingo and Drag every last Friday of the month. This saucy free bingo show – starring the theatrical Lady Grackle and Colleen – is the ultimate chance to see some crazy drag performances while you drink and play for cool prizes and swag bags.
Located in central Austin, The Goodnight is a super fun adults only bowling alley/bar and grill that offers endless frivolity and shenanigans in the form of live performances, games and drinking galore. At The Goodnight, grown ups can play til their heart’s content in the billiards room, karaoke hall, bowling alley or bar. Some weekly events worth checking out at The Goodnight include Margarita Movie Night, Geeks Who Drink trivia and The Goodnight’s very own Adult Dirty Bingo. This tongue-in-cheek bingo game -not for the shy or soft spoken – is hosted by the incorrigibly comedic Tavis McLendon and features a handful of fun prizes and great drink specials like $4 Titos and Deep Eddy vodkas. Because drinking and dirty bingo is always a good bet!
Perched on illustrious Rainey St., Lucille is a charming little bungalow turned bar with a spacious outdoor patio and delicious handcrafted cocktails. This casual hangout specializes in serving local draft Texas beer and fresh, fruit-infused libations that taste perfect on their lazy hammocks and comfy lawn furniture. Along with tasty beverages, a dog friendly patio and irresistible happy hour specials, Lucille also offers a handful of fun local events such as Trivia Factory nights and boozy Sunday Fundays. But if you’re looking for a fantastic free way to spend a Monday night, join Lucille at their weekly Balls to the Wall Bingo night: a raucous bingo game – hosted by Bingo Mike — that is unlike anything you’ve ever played. This interactive outdoor game also offers plenty of opportunities to win beer, bar swag and gift cards.
Located in burgeoning east Austin, The Brixton is one of those iconically quirky bars/venues that makes the city so lovably strange. This unpretentious juke box joint serves a decent selection of local beers and house wines along with all the hard stuff: Whiskey, vodka, bourbon, tequila, etc. But where the Brixton really stands out is their whacky weekly events and parties, which seem to get stranger and stranger over time! Some popular popups at the Brixton include AJ’s Elmo Disney Karaoke, Brixton Comedy hour and the notoriously fun Brixton bingo night. This riotous game night has it all: arm wrestling, karaoke, limbo and two insane game hosts that will have you screaming more than just Bingo!
Settled comfortably on trendy south Lamar, Maria’s Taco Xpress is a beloved Austin landmark best known for their giant sculpture of a woman emerging from out of the roof with open arms. This eccentric taqueria is the boss when it comes to serving authentic Austin style Tex mex breakfasts. Maria’s is also a huge supporter of local artists and musicians, offering free live shows most days and hosting some seriously unconventional – yet totally Austin – events like LezzDance and Mother’s Day Funky Brunch. But perhaps the most notable – and by far most bizarre – regular event at Maria’s is their Big Boobie Bingo, which takes place the first Tuesday of every month. This cross-dressing bingo bash – hosted by CupCake and Maeve Haven – includes four rounds of busty bingo with drag performances from each of the lovely hosts and is definitely not your run-of-the-mill bingo game!
Helping keep Rainey Street weird, the Blackheart is a well-known watering hole and event venue in downtown Austin. This eccentric space serves up generously poured cocktails and brews as well as a handful of fun community events including intimate live shows with local performers and rowdy NFL football nights. But one of the whackiest can’t-miss events at the Blackheart is their weekly Blackheart bingo featuring Wild Bill. This anything-goes game is MC’d by rockin Wild Bill Ogden and The Lost Knobs and features great drink specials and fun prizes for the winners. Bring your lucky charms and totems to this bingo game, because the stakes are high and the competition is stiff!