by Monika Kowalczyk - 65 Reviews - 40 List
Way back when, South Austin and one of its artery roads, South Lamar, were known for auto mechanics, no-name bars and resident "Bubbas." While heaps of auto shops and the persistent Bubba nickname still exist, South Lamar now supports a slew of lovely eateries and independent businesses that can only be considered cool by means of old-meets-new-meets-charming panache. For a time-honored pledge of a good pour and good company, drop by any of these South Lamar bars of both vintage and newborn variety.
Updated: July 25, 2010
This very faintly Jamaican-themed coffee shop has it all: an array of snacks, locally roasted coffee, free and speedy wireless and, yes, a small bar menu of beers and Irie Bombs, their specialty. The teeny interior offers cozy nooks for good reading while the super cute patio in back is a nice escape from the bustling South Lamar. Best times to go? Wine Down Thursdays and the dog-friendly Yappy Hours.
A relatively new kid on the block, Black Sheep Lodge boasts accolades from Texas Monthly, which deemed its Black and Blue Burger one of the best in the state. Locals love the patio, which faces South Lamar, the potent drinks, legit food offerings and fun atmosphere (hello, pool table and shuffleboard court).
This small corner bar exemplifies the term low-key and has quickly transformed itself into a South Austin staple for laid-back locals. If the cash flow is low, take advantage of the $2 Lone Star beer all day, every day and $2 vodka weekend well drinks.
This obscure, blink-and-you'll-miss-it South Lamar spot plays host to the older generation, oasis-seeking politicos and a few chew-spitting 20-somethings with a smattering of hipsters looking for a true dive bar. From the jukebox comes an unceasing flow of Willie Nelson, Junior Brown and all things classic country and, thank heavens, the beer is served cheap and cold.
In a dance-hall-that-time-forgot manner, the Spoke sits virtually as it did in 1964. But these days, instead of Willie (who still stops by), you're more apt to find modern-day flame carriers filling the sizable ice rink-smooth dance floor. This bar has quickly become a shrine to visiting music legends and adds a well-deserved nostalgic touch to one of the country's fastest-growing metropolises.