The Sahara Lounge is like a funky spaceship full of old Austin magic. You can expect music and events almost every night of the week, and you’ll never be disappointed you didn’t spend your evening somewhere else.
In fact, The Sahara Lounge has got to be one of the most inviting places in the whole city and the Austinites who love it, really love it. Why, you ask? I’m happy to explain!
Strong Community of Musicians
On any given night, you’ll find a local or traveling band jamming their hearts out at The Sahara Lounge. The vibe is jovial and the audience is respectful. Dancing is ALWAYS encouraged, as well as taking a break to eat a bowl of bean chili from the community table. It’s always inspiring to see such creative and talented performers get together to make others dance and smile. Music you’ll hear at The Sahara Lounge includes indie, African, blues, rock, country, swing, Brazilian and funk.
Sahara Lounge History
Depending on how long you’ve lived in Austin, you might know The Sahara Lounge used to be called TC’s Lounge, back in the days of sweaty soul-dancing. Before that, the venue was called RC’s and, before that, Lincoln Drive In, dating all the way back to 1962. There’s no doubt each owner incorporated their own special touch. It’s fun to think of Austin patrons dancing through the decades.
The Sahara Lounge’s staff feels like family. They treat you like a friend they haven’t seen in a while (which may be the case for some!). Eileen Bristol is an owner AND bass player for bands you can check out in the lounge, such as EB & the Gang, Zoumountchi and the Sahara All Stars. Topaz McGarrigle, Bristol’s partner, is also a talented musician who shares the same vision for creating a comfortable neighborhood community. How cool is that?
Sahara Lounge is glowing with African influence, especially on Saturday nights. The idea for Africa Night was born in Ann Arbor, where Bristol met Ibrahim Aminou, now band leader of Zoumountchi. Be prepared to dance your feet off until 2 a.m. to local African, Caribbean and Latino bands.
Even the craft cocktails are African-inspired, such as “The Sahara Slant” made with Akpateshi (rum-infused with a variety of African herbs and spices like cloves). Don’t forget the complimentary buffet in the back, which includes vegetarian beans and rice, tortilla chips, and spicy meatballs.
Play around on the pool tables and take a stroll out back when you need a dance break. On a gorgeous East Austin night, the backyard is the only place I’d want to be, with a fire pit and ample seating. A visit to The Sahara Lounge is a joyful reminder to celebrate community, diversity and rhythm in Austin.
1413 Webberville Road – Website
@theAustinot wants to know:
What’s your favorite East Austin bar?