Just a little beat-up bar with a shady stage and patio, this unlikely little West Fifth Street beer joint is big on originality and packs a mean punch of charm. With its witty Johnny Cash theme (the bathrooms are labeled Johnny and June), this place gets everything right—more clever than cheesy. "Love is a burning thing" is stenciled in with spray paint, "Folsom" is written on a bench, and "I Walk the Line" plays on the jukebox. The Man in Black's mug shots, memorabilia, lyrics, and photos fill the walls, lending this bar (named for a Cash song) a cheeky, hip vibe. The building was once a chainsaw store and always felt boxed in, but in 2013 the space reopened with better flow and a more central bar. It managed to change without losing its charm. Since reopening, Mean-Eyed Cat has offered a full bar and local craft beers, and standbys like Pabst Blue Ribbon and Bud Light. The food service comes from Austin's own Stubb's BBQ. With live music on the tree-shaded patio and a pool table inside, Mean-Eyed Cat is perhaps the perfect Austin dive. With all that, and barbecue to boot, the Boy Named Sue would feel right at home.
1621 W. Fifth St.
Our Rating Neighborhood Clarksville/Old West Austin Historic District Hours Daily 11–2am Phone 512/472-6326 Prices Food/barbecue $7–$13, most drinks under $10, happy hour $2 tallboys, $3 well drinks Cuisine Type BARBECUE Web site Mean-Eyed Cat
Map1621 W. Fifth St. Austin
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