Navigating FFF Nites

No excuses: Our guide to eating, drinking and navigating around Fun Fun Fun Nites

Our guide to eating, drinking and navigating Fun Fun Fun Nites

Orthy Austin Band
Catch Austin band Orthy during FFF Nites. Photo by Orthy/ Facebook
Austin Photo: PhotoEssay_Utopiafest_DanaFalconberry
Check out Dana Falconberry on Thursday at the Mohawk. Photo by Bryan Parker
Kurt Vile
Kurt Vile headlines the Mohawk on Thursday, November 7. Courtesy of Kurt Vile / Facebook
Austin_photo: News_Sam_Matt bearden
Catch Austin's Matt Bearden with Jenny Slate, Craig Robinson and Tenacious D at Mohawk. Photo by Alison Narro
Craig Robinson
Craig Robison brings the funny to the Mohawk. Photo by Wikimedia Commons/ Wikimedia Commons
Austin Photo Set: News_Sam_the impossibles_reunion_feb 2012_band1
After a decade-long break, the Impossibles are back. And playing at Hotel Vegas. Courtesy of The Imbossibles
Orthy Austin Band
Austin Photo: PhotoEssay_Utopiafest_DanaFalconberry
Kurt Vile
Austin_photo: News_Sam_Matt bearden
Craig Robinson
Austin Photo Set: News_Sam_the impossibles_reunion_feb 2012_band1

Sometimes you don't make it to Fun Fun Fun Fest for unfortunate reasons. Other times, you're lazy and simply don't feel like battling the large crowd. To counter any case for not partaking in Auditorium Shores merrymaking during the daylight hours, Fun Fun Fun Fest offers FFFNites, wherein you can see the same headlining bands, but in more intimate venues downtown. 

To help guide your evenings, we broke down where to eat and drink in the establishments near to our favorite FFFNites shows, taking all thinking out of the equation for music —and party — lovers. Follow our plans and just focus on having a good time. Now you really have no excuse not to partake.

Thursday, November 7
Mohawk
Kurt Vile, The Tontons, Roger Sellers, Dana Falconberry, Leopold and His Fiction

Before the stacked lineup at Mohawk on FFF's opening Nite, treat yourself to a nice meal. It just might be your last civilized dining experience for the rest of the weekend (or at least the last dining experience you remember). Plus, Kurt Vile and his supporting lineup are so good, it might be refreshing to be in your right mind for the experience...

Go to The Backspace a few hours before the show (there's often a wait — don't let it deter you) a few blocks down on Sixth Street. Don't take a huge crowd; there's simply not space. Settle in at the bar or a cozy table and order a from-scratch, wood-fired pizza and bottle of wine. 

After the show, head four blocks south from the venue to give The Gatsby, a new cocktail den, a try. The cocktails have cheesy names, but they're good, they're strong and they're served in a dark '20s-inspired den. But the real attraction is the back patio, which rivals Easy Tiger's in its expanse.

You can hash out the show there and head home at a decent hour so as to not burn yourself out before Friday.

Friday, November 8
Parish
Poolside, Bagheera, Orthy

Nu-disco duo Poolside will be supported by Austin's own indie-electro-inspired Orthy, and together they'll produce enough good, warm vibes to make you forget winter's approach and mentally transport you to a lazy summer day. 

We're going to suggest grabbing a hotdog from either Chicago House of Frank to keep the "poolside" theme going. Chicago House offers an expansive beer menu, while Frank has some knockout mixed drinks in Mason jars. Pick your poison, literally.

Your time spent inside Parish should put you in a chill good mood, so if you're feeling go-with-the-flow, it's time to go somewhere random. Like, say, the The Russian House, where it's pretty likely you won't have to battle a crowd and you'll come back with a story — or at least with a new appreciation of vodka.

Saturday, November 9
Mohawk
Matt Bearden, Jenny Slate, Craig Robinson, Tenacious D, the Karaoke Underground

A comedy showcase provides the perfect opportunity to load up on margaritas at neighboring Serranos or 508 Tequila Bar, both of which are just a stone's throw from Mohawk.

This is one show you're not going to want to leave early and risk missing any epic one-liners, so fill up on some tried and true Tex-Mex after your day spent at the Fest — or after your day spent nursing a hangover from Friday night's revelry. 

Afterwards if you have it in you, go to Easy Tiger, where you can take over a huge table with a group of friends and keep the comedic conversation going. Hungry again? Order the giant, freshly baked pretzel with housemade beer cheese. 

Sunday, November 10
Hotel Vegas
The Impossibles

You made it to Sunday! You have to find it in you to support Austin's The Impossibles, who broke up in 2002 but reunited last year, to the delight of  ravenous friends and fans, after a decade off. The group has teased on social media that new recordings are coming soon, so it will be interesting to see where they take their ska/punk/indie-rock sound now that they're all grown up.

Beforehand, go to Quickie Pickie and order a smattering of bar offerings — maybe crab cakes, cocktail sausages and French fries (remember it's not so much a bar as a high-end neighborhood market-cum-cafe). Point being, you can eat quickly and have time to walk across the street to Longbranch Inn, a dive that — though it has existed on East 11th Street in one form or another since the 1930s — feels more like Brooklyn than it does Austin. 

After the show, stay at Hotel Vegas. In the adjoining Volstead Lounge, a huge crowd that's spent its weekend at Fun Fun Fun Fest will be assembled making it the perfect place to bid adieu to the weekend until next year. 

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A Fun Fun Fun wristband gives you access to the corresponding night's Fun Fun Fun Nites shows.