209 West 5th Street
Austin, TX 78701
Hours: Daily 8pm
Written by: Monica U. Garcia
Diverse clientele blend together at the Lucky Lounge just like its stylish furnishings and blue and red neon retro decor. The club has consistently booked bands since opening 14 years ago in the Warehouse District. The live music shows go up before midnight, and afterward DJ parties draw a devoted crowd. Middle-age rockers will catch a show by Ian McLagan (of Small Faces and Faces fame) and the Bump Band early on Thursday nights, while the dance-thirsty younger crowd mixes in. Lucky co-owner Johnny Alvarez calls it a “different kind of animal.”
Professionals, musicians, locals and tourists—old and young—comprise what Johnny says is one of the widest bar-customer demographics in town. “It’s very unique, especially when the 10 o’clock hour comes,” Johnny says. “The age group literally just changes right in front of you.” The formula has worked for the Lucky. “It’s a different kind of feel than any other bar in Austin,” Johnny says. He calls the Lucky Lounge a venue for emerging local bands such as Soul Track Mind, but Ian McLaglan plays weekly, and he’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Former Talking Heads front man David Byrne has played there, as have a number of other nationally known acts.
“It’s pretty simple: local live music early and late-night partying,” Alvarez said. “That’s exactly what we do and that’s what we’ve been doing from the get-go.”