Rose Colored Glassware
Sprawling Latin nightclub and music venue from Gabriela's group turns Austin's 6th Street pink
If you can't decide between a night out full of new reggaeton or glitzy new bars, look no further than Mala Fama. A new nightclub by the same restaurant and nightlife group as Gabrielas, Taquero Mucho, and Revival Coffee is settling into its 6th Street space with a soft opening on July 28.
From that track history, Austinites know what to expect: color, a strong theme, and accessibility despite the trendiness. Taquero Mucho made especially big rosy waves — a pink tsunami, even — when it opened drenched in the hue in 2022. Churro Co. Dessert Shop & Bakery followed suit this year, 2023, in a very similar but perhaps gentler style.
Mala Fama ("notoriety" or "bad reputation") promises another layer of drama in the name alone, as well as another shade of pink. The three-story "multi-concept space" is actually a continuation of the nightlife side of Gabriela’s Group, which includes 6th Street night club Mala Vida and East Austin performance space Mala Santa — both edgier than the daytime concepts.
The full breadth of concepts within Mala Fama are still a mystery, but "several" are promised, and there's plenty of room for them in the more than 11,000-square-foot space. Although the main goal is enjoying Latin music, the nightclub also hopes to appeal to "cocktail connoisseurs." It will also serve as a live music venue, and welcomes visitors who are 18 or older.
Latin music fans can hear various genres throughout the space and on different occasions: reggaeton, perreo, hip-hop queued up by local DJs; live bandas based in Austin or on tour; and even a house band, Puro Guasave.
Some areas will offer bottle service, and one portion called La Factoria (the self-proclaimed "gayest bar on historic sixth street") seems to serve as a secondary dance floor to the main space. It's all topped off by a patio on the roof.
A release also calls out a "a very pink-heavy fluorescent theme" and custom neon signs on the walls, so it is likely a good guess that some of these concepts will be a little more immersive than many bars on the same street offer.
“Every weekend at Mala Vida we have a line around the door, and we need a nearby space to serve our customers to make sure they have the best night out they can," said co-owner and head designer Gabriela Bucio in the release. "We are proud of the diverse crowds that stop by every weekend and we hope this Mala Fama will allow us to reach more fans, while showcasing what makes our Latin culture so special. Get ready because even more openings are on the way."
The opening on July 28 and 29 is a soft one, starting at 9 pm for a "sneak peek." Mala Fama (422 E. 6th St.) will begin operating "in the coming weeks" from Thursday to Sunday, 9 pm to 2 am. Check Instagram and other social media for updates.