Carousel Lounge

1110 E 52nd St, Austin, TX 78723
Website

Circus themed bar

Ok, so this place is relatively well-known. It's on almost every online list of the places that make Austin weird and the unique "hidden" things you can do here.  BUT its relatively close my my neighborhood, and even closer to where I was at that day, so I decided to check it out. 

[Random important note: It's BYOL (Bring your own liquor) Mixers are available to you, but they do not sell liquor drinks.]

Part of the magic of this place, why its so well-known, and featured on so many sites, is that as of 2-13, it's been around for 50 years. The Carousel Lounge is a circus themed bar.  It's easily recognized by the paint job on the outside.  The name, Carousel Lounge, is painted very largely, taking up the entire front of the building, accompanied by a mural of a clown, acrobats, and people on their horses -- essentially a ring of assorted circus acts. The decor was an interesting vibe, but not unenjoyable. As any other site will tell you, there is  giant pink elephant on the stage for bands and carousel behind the bar. However, there is also a phone booth upon entering, and cards stuck in the ceiling. There are jukeboxes at every booth, although I'm not too sure they are functional.

 

When I visited, it was about 3 in the afternoon, so I didn't get a real preview of what the vibe would be like there.  However, I was impressed with a couple things. For one, an album by The Smiths was playing my entire time there, and two)  The girl there was super friendly (she bought my first beer because it was my first time there) and I actually enjoyed conversing with her.  If you know me at all, you know thats impressive on its own. I hope to find time to make it back here on occasion.

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