208 W 4th Street
Austin, TX 78701
Hours: Mon-Fri 4pm-2am, Sat-Sun 6pm-2am
Written by: Ellie Julier
Cedar Street Courtyard is an open patio wedged in between two buildings. The space brings together two of the best things about Austin—the weather and live music. Top off the evening with one of their famous martinis and you get a perfect example of the casual, yet cosmopolitan live music scene of Austin.
It was one of the first music venues to open in the Warehouse District, in 1995, as an upscale alternative to East 6th Street, and according to its manager, Jason Schnurr, it used to be the only place to get a $12 martini besides a hotel. The venue began as a jazz and martini club, but as the Warehouse District has evolved into a hot nightlife spot, the Courtyard has returned to being a standout early-evening, happy-hour spot.
Today, people return to the Courtyard for its consistent mix of rock, pop, and alternative acts. The sounds coming from the stage can be heard down the street, drifting up and down and pricking ears. The stage and patio have the added benefit of being visible from the West 4th Street sidewalk, so the venue gets a fair number of passersby looking for a great Austin live music experience. During South by Southwest, the spot hosts an eclectic mix of bands, moving from the Neville Brothers and The Bangles, to The Sounds and soul legend Charles Bradley. It continues to attract a classier set, and about forty percent of the crowd are out-of-towners.
The Courtyard has an irresistible allure with the flow of outside air and lights that twinkle on the trees, making it a place where people love to come and be social. According to Jason: “they turn out every night.” Cedar Street Couryard has mastered its charming and magical contribution to the soulfulness of Austin, the reason why the city is “The Live Music Capital of the World.”