Your downtown business meeting or special event just ended, and now all you want is a place to relax and enjoy a hand-crafted drink. If this is you, I recommend Peche.
Located in the Warehouse District, on 4th Street just east of Lavaca, Peche’s unpretentious exterior is easy to pass without a second look. But step inside and you’ll be greeted by a low-lit, romantic interior with decor that hints at times past.
The menu is filled with a variety of cocktail, food and wine selections. The venue’s claim to fame is its status as Austin’s first absinthe bar. Cocktails are pre-prohibition style, inspired by owner Rob Pate’s historical studies and time abroad. In fact, your visits to Peche will likely transport you to another time and place.
For those of you stuck on the absinthe part, yes, it was illegal in the United States until 2007. In an interview with Eater Austin, Pate is asked what first-time absinthe drinkers should know. “You’ve gotta like licorice. Licorice is the predominate flavor of absinthe,” he replied. Sounds innocuous enough, yes?
Peche’s staff members are knowledgeable and their recommendations are solid. They encourage you to ask questions about what you’re eating and drinking. Fostering a depth of experience is one of their many specialties. Pate has rounded out his team of experts with Chef Jason Dodge, formerly of Vespaio on South Congress.
Unless you visit during Happy Hour, you’ll find no 6th Street prices here. You’re paying for exceptional quality, customer service and the unique atmosphere, and it’s worth it every penny. (The Grasshopper is really out of this world.)
But did I mention Happy Hour? From 4-6 PM Tuesday-Friday, and all day Sunday and Monday, Peche’s Happy Hour is not to be missed. $5 drink specials speckle the cocktail menu (look for the asterisks), and food specials are offered at 50% off. My Happy Hour favorites are the French 75 and the Papas Fritas, a steal at $3.75.
Peche is definitely one of my favorite cocktail bars in Austin, if not my favorite. If you’re looking for a unique location to relax downtown, I highly recommend that you visit.
Have you ever been to Peche? I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment.
Cover photo via Flickr CC, courtesy of mapaolini.