1100 East 6th Street
Austin, TX 78702
Written by: Ellie Julier
The East Side Showroom is a consistent favorite for its speakeasy atmosphere, craft cocktails, and music that transports you to another time. It’s so reliable, in fact, that owner and designer Mickie Spencer makes a point to not participate in South by Southwest, making the Showroom a respite from the fast-moving East 6th Street activity often taking place outside its doors.
An evening at the Showroom moves effortlessly from a dining experience peppered with local ingredients, to a casual lounge atmosphere, making the space feel like an old-fashioned showroom, or cabaret, complete with low lighting and small cafe tables and chairs. The full bar of obscure liquors is ceiling-high and accessible by a sliding ladder. Colors glow under well-placed lighting, and bartenders in pinstripe vests craft cocktails with individual attention, creating a wonderfully seductive feeling.
Local musicians gather here to pay respects to the history of pre-WWII music. You can expect to hear gypsy folk and sultry jazz any night of the week. This callback to a past era infuses the Showroom with an air of mystery, like a kept secret, that keeps you lingering around for hours. This is a place for the unexpected, which is why Mickie’s most beloved Showroom experience was with the whimsical troupe, the Minor Mishap Marching Band. “They marched through the front door and filled every little spot they could find,” she says. “It was so fantastic to see the shock on their faces.”