Think outside of the box with a different kind of venue

Blue Norther Blue Norther Hard Seltzer Tasting Room in Austin

Planning an event during Austin’s peak festival season, notably in March during the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference, is a skill in and of itself. Not only is it a mystical time of transition from winter to spring where the weather is a bit unpredictable, but it’s also a time when the city is pulsing with a myriad of live events. How can you think outside of the box to stand out amongst the noise to curate a memorable experience for your attendees that leaves a lasting impression?

First, selecting a venue is the most important decision when planning an event, and one of the easiest ways to ‘think outside of the box’ for this experience. The venue is not just providing coverage from the elements (although this is very important), it also allows guests to be immersed in the culture and community of the ever-growing city of Austin.

Despite its expansion and cosmopolitan atmosphere, Austin maintains its small-town charm and welcoming spirit. Various kinds of venues in different pockets of the city can bring this sentiment to your attendees, allowing them to feel like locals themselves. Sourcing the right kind of venue is the foundation to standing out amongst the noise and we’re here to help you make that selection.

Unique event venues in Austin, TX

We’ve curated a list of unique venues in Austin to help you plan your next event this festival season. The benefit of these venues too is that they are all in the Austin Venue Collective network, which matches party hosts to local venues and provides turnkey event management, creating an easy and seamless experience for everyone involved.

Unique Bars

Blue Norther Tasting Room Stage in Austin Texas

Blue Norther Tasting Room: This standalone, warehouse-style venue located at The Yard, a mixed-use development in South Austin, boasts a fully climatized space with a built-in bar, stage, conference room, mezzanine loft, TV, and indoor/outdoor areas for 50-300 people. In-house offerings include Blue Norther Seltzers and Ranch Waters, with additional food and beverage catering coordination and live music coordination available.

Cape Bottle Room in Austin

Cape Bottle Room: Situated in Central-East Austin, just walking distance from the Austin Convention Center, this vibrant wine bar and tasting room is renowned for its selection of South African wines. Its contemporary ambiance makes it an ideal venue for sommelier-led wine tastings or cocktail receptions accommodating 15-75 guests. Optional catering and live music coordination services are also available.

DrinkWell in North Austin

DrinkWell: This neighborhood watering hole is just North of the hustle and bustle of downtown Austin and has an award-winning cocktail bar renowned for its exceptional craft cocktails, delectable food, and lively atmosphere. Whether for a casual evening out or a special celebration, DrinkWell offers an experience that is both sophisticated and relaxed for groups of 8-75 people.

Nickel City in East Austin

Nickel City: A local favorite, this celebrated East-side neighborhood bar exudes retro charm and divey vibes for up to 100 people, featuring banquette seating, an antique bar with TVs, and a drop-down projection screen. Guests can indulge in Detroit-style cuisine from the in-house food truck, Delray Café.

Progress Coffee and Beer in Austin

Progress Coffee and Beer Austin: Progress coffee by day, Project Disco and Visitant Social Club by night. This trio concept located in the Cherrywood neighborhood of North-Central Austin caters to coffee and beer enthusiasts alike, accommodating groups of 10-100 people. The venue features an inviting interior with its own roastery and a partially covered patio with picnic table seating, onsite food trucks, and a stage for entertainment. Plus, Visitant, located on the back patio is inside a box truck, for the ultimate speakeasy experience.

Local Restaurants

Hillside Farmacy in East Austin

Hillside Farmacy: This antique-chic restaurant in the heart of East Austin occupies a beautifully restored historic building with detailed vintage decor, providing indoor and outdoor dining options. Curated by Chef Sonya Cote, the eatery offers thoughtfully sourced, eclectic fare with options for private dining accommodating 10-20 guests and restaurant buyouts for up to 80 guests.

Lenoir Wine Garden

Lenoir: A romantic and intimate restaurant in South Austin’s Bouldin Creek neighborhood offers seasonal and creative cuisine crafted by Chef Todd Duplechan. Petite Maison, the restaurant’s private dining space, located in a separate and charming craftsman-style house can seat up to 22 guests, while the romantic outdoor wine garden and main restaurant are available for buyouts for 25-80 guests. All outdoor spaces are equipped with heaters and mister fans for any season.

The Meteor Patio on South Congress Ave

The Meteor: Located on the iconic South Congress Ave, this all-day cafe boasts ingredient-driven menus showcasing top producers of food, craft beer, and natural wine. This community-focused bike haven can accommodate semi-private and private events for 20-100 guests.

Venues with a view in Austin

Q-Branch Roof Patio in downtown Austin

Q-Branch: This global accelerator venue blends historical charm with industrial chic in the heart of Austin. The venue boasts two spacious private outdoor patios with views of 6th street, an 8’x16’ stage, AV facilities, kitchenettes, and meeting and conference rooms within its more than 10,000 sq/ft of indoor space. Option to add turnkey catering coordination is also available.

SXSW Center Roof Terrace

SXSW Center: Situated in a downtown Austin skyscraper, this multi-use space boasts city skyline views from the rooftop terrace and an expansive lobby space with access to flow into a street-level courtyard. Each space can be reserved separately or combined for gatherings of up to 300 and can include turnkey catering and bar service upon request.

Types of special event venues in Austin

Different types of venues can lend themselves to be more or less suitable for different event formats. You can consider hosting at a restaurant, bar, taproom, brewery, hotel, convention center, gallery, or museum to name a few. However, there are unique benefits to leveraging local restaurants and bars for special events in Austin.

The city is known for its exceptional food scene and there’s no better way to show your guests a ‘taste of Austin’ than to host your event at a local restaurant. Many Austin restaurants have trendy and beautiful interiors too, so there’s no need for you to bring in additional decor. Restaurants are great for intimate dinners, networking events, and casual meetups.

Similarly, bars and tasting rooms in Austin are also very hip and can provide an exceptional experience for mingling or hosting a panel presentation. Many bars in Austin have built-in stages and state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment for branding, presentations, games, and entertainment.

Restaurants and bars can also be cost-effective since they usually just require a food and/or beverage minimum to rent the space. So you know the money you are spending will go towards either dinner, an appetizer spread, or cocktails for your guests’ enjoyment. Another way to stand out is to bring guests to a corner of the city they may not have otherwise thought to go to, providing a more localized experience with just a short commute.

Austin Venue Collective: your boots on the ground

Having a local with boots on the ground who knows the lay of the land is extremely helpful when it comes to sourcing a venue in Austin. With new restaurants and bars popping up every day here, it’s hard to know which venues are tried, true, and reliable to deliver an exceptional experience. The team at Austin Venue Collective is here to provide you with insider knowledge and a team that cares about every aspect from venue selection to finalizing every detail.

Austin Venue Collective collaborates with an array of bars, restaurants, and tasting rooms to provide diverse event spaces suitable for both corporate and personal occasions. We simplify the venue selection process for party hosts, ensuring that your preferences regarding style, size, budget, and location are meticulously addressed. Explore all our venues and allow us to collaborate with you on your next celebration!

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