Compared to Sixth Street , the Warehouse District is downright civil. You won’t find too many UT coeds at these bars, but that doesn’t mean it’s a subdued scene. Instead of angry punk bands, you’ll hear jazz trios. Ladies order cosmopolitans rather than mind erasers. Food options include tapas as opposed to hot dogs from a cart. And if your fifth glass of cabernet makes your feet restless, there are several nearby clubs with crafty DJs playing hoppin’ dance music. Besides, Sixth Street is a mere 30-minute walk away if you really want to reconnect with your inner 21-year-old.
The best place to start is The Ginger Man (304 W. Fourth St., 512/473-8801, www.gingermanpub.com ), with its almost-overwhelming beer selection. Chalkboards above the bar announce new arrivals, featured selections, and specials among the nearly 80 brews on tap and 100 in bottles. If the weather is warm, order a Texas wheat beer and enjoy it on the spacious back patio. If it’s cold, have a stout inside at the big welcoming bar or in one of the comfy nooks and crannies.
Catch some live music and spot the scenesters at Cedar Street Courtyard (208 W. Fourth St., 512/495-9669, www.cedarstreetaustin.com ). One of the district’s first successful establishments, Cedar Street features a sunken courtyard with live music and some of the city’s stiffest drinks. Martinis are the specialty here, and the friendly bartenders will gladly help you find your favorite blend.
For a nightcap and upscale munchies, head next door to Saba Blue Water Café (208 W. Fourth St., 512/478-7222, www.sabacafe.com ). This venerable warehouse venue offers the city’s tastiest tapas—most with a Mexican and Caribbean flair—along with soothing music and a mellow vibe.
The Warehouse District’s newest occupants are swanky ultra lounges that represent the city’s upscale metropolitan scene. The best of the bunch is Pangaea (409 Colorado St., 512/472-8882, www.pangaea-austin.com ), a safari-themed club attracting the classiest clientele in town for dancing and lounging.
Also worth checking out is the shark tank in the floor at Qua Bottle Lounge (213 W. Fourth St., 512/472-2782, www.quaaustin.com ). Bottle service, ice tables, waterfalls, and a shark tank in the floor await.
For a choice dance club with a more standard vibe, check out Vicci (404 Colorado St., 512/476-7799, www.vicciaustin.com ). Stacked with two stories of bars and dance floors, Vicci features an outdoor cascading waterfall and a gaggle of go-go dancers. FYI: There’s a strict dress code, so ditch the flip-flops and ball caps.