Drink It on the Rooftops
This place actually rules
309 E. Third, 474-5757The Austin outpost of this successful national chain is housed in a completely remodeled Downtown building across from the Convention Center. Houlihan's caters mostly to twenty- to thirtysomethings looking for a modern and sophisticated atmosphere without the high price tag. The menu offers good-quality, straightforward American fare with a few shades of international flavors, and diners can enjoy well-prepared grilled steaks and seafood entrées without breaking the bank. There are also plenty of pastas, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and other options to please all palates. The ample downstairs bar has plenty of seating and two flat-screen TVs for those looking for sporting events, and the glass doors open to the sidewalk for outdoor seating. But the best thing about Houlihan's is the breezy rooftop bar. As a friend pointed out, it gives one the feeling of being on the deck of a cruise ship, somewhere far away. It has a great view of Downtown especially at night and a cool, yet laid-back, atmosphere. Houlihan's has embraced Austin's live music scene in full force, offering performances on the rooftop Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Both bars serve a large selection of beers on tap, 33 wines by the glass, and lots of signature cocktails. Order the Mini Martini Flight to sample three of their cleverly presented, trendy-flavored cocktails. Or try the Mango Rum Drop, a refreshing blend of Cruzan Mango Rum, fresh-squeezed lemonade, orange juice, and soda water. Plus, the margaritas are well-made and potent. A limited menu of appetizers, like the Tuna Wontons With Wasabi Mayo ($7.50) or the crispy and delicious Blue Cheese Chips ($7.95), plus a few desserts, can be enjoyed on the rooftop. Happy hour is from 4 to 8pm every day, with $1 domestic beers, specials on mini martinis, $4 glasses of select wines, and half-price appetizers. Drop by one of these evenings for a drink and a bite, and catch some great live music in a fun and unique atmosphere.