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Dive Into Stay Gold and Drinks Lounge

03.05.2015 by: Travis Sandoval
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Dive bars with live music are part of the old Austin charm that seem to diminish as our city grows. It’s rare for new places to eschew the upscale, but two new cocktail lounges on East Cesar Chavez do just that. Stay Gold and Drinks Lounge both strike a balance for casual and cool spots to drink. We spent an evening checking out both places.

Stay Gold

A view of the bar at Stay Gold.

We started the night out at Stay Gold, which was created by alums from the White Horse and Hole in the Wall. As a live music venue, the bar features jazz, soul, funk, and blues musicians most nights of the week. The interior design is sleek and retro with lots of tufted black and white leather booths and chairs. There are other gold and retro touches throughout that keep the swanky vibe going. The outdoor patio offers plenty of covered seating in booths made from shipping pallets and a limited number of small tables. Toaster, a food truck serving homemade breads, fancy cheeses, and Southern comfort foods is parked outside.

Stay Gold

The cocktail menu features classics and house specialities.

Like any other watering hole, you’ll find beer, wine, and specialty cocktails on the menu. We opted for a classic Old Fashioned and the Texas by the Tail (a bourbon drink with lime juice, allspice dram, angostura bitters, and simple syrup). You’ll find a mix of well-done classics and creative concoctions here.

Stay Gold

There's plenty of room to hang out on the patio.

After a beverage, we moved across the street to Drinks Lounge, a collaboration by the teams behind popular east side spots Shangri-La and the Brixton. While Stay Gold offers a sleek aesthetic, Drinks Lounge is definitely a more laid back neighborhood bar.


A look into Drinks Lounge through the open garage door.

An open garage door welcomes you into the building. While there are sleek booths with black and white photos of music legends, the rest of the bar is pretty non-descript. It’s the kind of everyday lounge you meet friends at for a drink and a round of pool.


As a neighborhood bar, Drinks does simple cocktails very well.

The cocktail menu also features a mix of classics and personal recipes. We sipped on the Pink Drink (Deep Eddy Ruby Red, St Germain, and lemon) and Bee’s Knees (Gin, lemon, and honey syrup).

This weekend, get away from the usual bar strips and try these two spots on East Cesar Chavez. 

Stay Gold Official Site

Drinks Lounge Official Site

TAGS : East Austin , Stay Gold , Drinks Lounge