Moontower Saloon: Mon.-Sat. 11am-2pm, Sun. 12pm-2am 10212 Manchaca Road, (way south) Austin, Texas 78748
From busy Manachaca Road, as the Texas sky fades from a blue to purple, one can briefly see a glimpse of twinkling lights at the Moontower Saloon. It’s set back from the busy road and seems a bit out of place because of its soft glow, laid-back vibe among the crowded, neon bright gas stations, grocery stores, and fast-food restaurants just up the road. South Austin is known for its cool places, and it has a lot: Barton Springs, South Congress Avenue , Zilker Park, and Deep Eddy Pool. However, in Southwest Austin some of these cool places are just starting to spring up, and the long awaited Moontower Saloon is one of the first.
Most of Moontower Saloon is outside under the shade of Oak Trees with mulch as the ground, but there is a little inside bar area and some places to sit outside with overhead covering. On the night that Ben and I went, it was a relaxed atmosphere with a crowd of all ages there. We had no problem parking, which has been a complaint in the past. There is a huge parking area in back, so even though it’s on a busy road, there was no problem. Inside we ordered a beer and found a nice picnic table to sit down and take in the sights. We watched some guys about our age, mid-thirties, play a game of washers while other people played pool in the small part of the bar that is inside.
Later that evening, quite a few twenty-somethings were pretty involved in the trivia game the bar had going on. I prefer music, but even Ben and I got a little involved in answering the questions. After a couple beers, Ben and I visited one of the two food trailers they have on site there. They have Pretty Thai for a White Guy and Local Yokel. We choose Local Yokel, which sells sausages. They are delicious. We had one with sauerkraut and one with onion. Next time we go, I’m going to try Pretty Thai for a White Guy, but it will be difficult to resist visiting Local Yokel again.
After we ate and got ready to leave, I watched as an employee (or maybe the owner) walked around the property. It seemed he was checking on things, picking up litter, and maybe just enjoying the pleasant weather. On their website, they say they take great pride in the relaxed, well-kept, neighborhood bar they’ve built. I could see that that night. It also looked like they were expanding the outside area to have a place with a small water fountain. To me, this is a great place for Southwest Austin to have and I hope to see more like it in the future (there are rumors that there will be).