How to get into downtown Austin speakeasies

Shhhh... these underground spots are perfect for a covert cocktail.

Three cocktails lined up on a table at Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy is one of City Editor London’s favorite places to take out-of-town visitors.

Punch in the secret code. Ring the buzzer for Harry Craddock. Sneak in through the door disguised as a bookshelf.

Follow these steps, and you’ll find yourself inside one — or many — of Austin’s most exclusive, most reputed, most secluded speakeasies.

Not sure where to start? Here’s how to get in at four covert bars in Austin.

Midnight Cowboy | 313 E. 6th St.
This prohibition-themed cocktail bar was a working brothel until 2011, masquerading as Midnight Cowboy Modeling Oriental Massage. The space leans into its tawdry history, maintaining its old sign out front.
How to get in: Make a reservation online + ring the buzzer marked “Harry Craddock” to earn entry. No reservation? You might be able to sneak a spot on the back patio, if the red light out front is turned on.

Firehouse Lounge | 605 Brazos St.
This secret bar in a former fire station is a well-known local favorite, and is hidden behind a sliding bookshelf in the lobby of the Firehouse Hostel.
How to get in: Slide the bookshelf aside from Wednesday-Sunday — spaces are first-come, first-served.

The Floppy Disk Repair Co. storefront at nighttime

City Editor London’s experience at the horror-themed Floppy Disk Repair Co. was spooky but delicious.

Photo by ATXtoday

Floppy Disk Repair Co. | 119 E. 5th St.
The website for this horror-inspired downtown speakeasy, also known as Red Headed Stepchild, earnestly ensures visitors that it’s a full-service floppy disk repair company + suggests making an appointment by telephone — only to inform them there is no number to call.
How to get in: Input the code (which changes frequently) on the unmarked door out front. To get the code, you may be able to swing a spot on the bar’s distribution list — or steal it from a fellow visitor waiting in line out front.

Garage | 503 Colorado St.
That’s one way to get real estate downtown. Aptly named, this cozy speakeasy is tucked away deep inside a parking garage on Colorado Street.
How to get in: Enter the parking garage on Colorado Street, veer left, and follow the sign for “cocktails.”

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