Who: Garage Bar
What: A cocktail bar serving up custom cocktails and small bites
When: 5pm- 2am Monday to Saturday
Where: 503 Colorado Street
Why: Austin is the type of city where concepts like Garage just make sense, and to anyone new visiting, it fits into the cool, eclectic vibe the city is putting off. Where you can come as you are, and do what you want.
Located smack dab in Downtown Austin sits Garage, literally inside of a parking garage. And to the general passerby, they probably wouldn’t know there was a bar inside except for the simple signage over the garage entrance saying “cocktails”.
Like a mysterious vixen calling you into the darkness, you begin to weave through the cars parked aptly in front of the entrance, and into a dark, and moody bar.
A record player is spinning some old 70’s vinyl, and the vibe is mid-century modern but relaxed and comfortable. It’s not a very big space, but the focal point is the bar. A circular set up that sits in the middle of the space, lined with a mint subway tile that reflects the mid century modern feel.
I was told it was the old parking garage attendees office, for the most part the space stayed in tact, they just added some additional windows here and there. It’s neat to see pieces of old Austin revived and turned into something new to enjoy.
Aside from the aesthetics, the people are friendly. We were seated and guided through the menu, where you can find your typical beers, and wines. But what caught our attention were the specialty cocktails and the food menu, of course.
One of everything I said, only half kidding, we did end up ordering most of the items on the small curated menu. Ribs, covered in a sweet sauce topped with cabbage and fresh cilantro. Blue crab avocado toast, made with red grape halves balanced every bite with a little sweetness. Something more unusual on the menu was the Taiyaki, a traditional Japanese fish shaped cake, this one stuffed with a curried chicken and apple combination. I love Garage’s mixture of these flavors with fruit, it added something to what would otherwise be a traditional meat filling.
When it came to the drinks, they didn’t disappoint either. First starting with what put Garage on the map in 2015 after winning the official drink of Austin, the Indian Paintbrush, made with vodka, grapefruit, lime and rosemary. It was a simple drink but the flavors together made it smooth to drink. Another favorite drink of mine from the night was the Ingrid Bergman, made with a hibiscus rye, thai basil, orange and lime. The hibiscus of course gave it a floral note, but the true star was the addition of the thai basil, which I’m a sucker for anytime I see it on a menu.
This is gonna be a new stop for me for sure, plus it’s around the corner from my office. But if you ever find yourself in Austin, I’d add Garage to the list.
Be sure to also follow along with my daily adventures on Instagram @DineWithShayda. And watch my insta stories for behind the scenes scoops on what goes on at these food events!