The HighBall offers a hip vibe and a great view of Austin's skyline along with its retro entertainment and varied (and evolving) menu
Reviewed by Virginia B. Wood, Fri., Jan. 8, 2010
1142 S. Lamar, 383-8309
Monday-Friday, 4:30pm-2am; Saturday-Sunday, 11am-2am
This eclectic pleasure palace from Alamo Drafthouse masterminds Tim and Karrie League opened to immediate boffo business in late October and generated the biggest private party buzz of the recent holiday season. We dropped in during the week between Christmas and New Year's to see for ourselves what all the chatter was about. What we encountered is a hip South Austin hilltop venue with a cool vibe, decor that evokes the Sixties, and a dynamite nighttime view of Austin's Downtown skyline. The centerpiece of the main room is a horseshoe shaped bar offering distinctive, custom cocktails and a fabulous beer selection. To the left, guests will find Skee-Ball and eight vintage bowling lanes recovered from New Orleans' legendary Rock 'n' Bowl and refurbished for an Austin debut. To the right, there's a full dining room decked out in comfortable red and gold vinyl booths and chairs under sparkling space-age starburst light fixtures. Behind the dining room is a large party area complete with a hardwood dance floor, a video screen, and an overhead mirrored ball. There are also smaller, private, themed karaoke lounges on the second floor. Food service at the HighBall is still evolving as chef Trish Eichelberger strives to tailor menus to the demands of such a multifaceted venue. There are currently appetizers, comfort food entrées, sandwiches, salads, and desserts for dinner and late-night dining, with brunch and lunch items planned for the future. We'll be back.