It may not be a home weekend for Austin's biggest sports teams, but plenty of fans are still gearing up for a road trip as both Austin FC and the Texas Longhorns take to Texas cities for their road matches this weekend.
But if you're unable to take the trip, have no fear: head to these bars and events for plenty of watch parties to provide that raucous gameday experience.
Feel free to mix and match these watch parties as you head to your favorite local bar to watch Texas football take on Baylor at 11 a.m. and Austin FC take on FC Dallas at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Austin FC official watch party—Haymaker Austin, 2310 Manor Rd.
We're turning Texas #VERDE, y'all!— Austin FC (@AustinFC) October 27, 2021
Come join us for the Official #AustinFC Watch Party this Saturday at @HaymakerAustin, pres. by @CaptainMorganUS, for exclusive merch giveaways and more! pic.twitter.com/tBeV9Bstg8
If you're looking for both matchday fun and free merch, head to Austin FC's official watch party at Haymaker Austin on Saturday.
The official bar of U.S. National Team fan base American Outlaws, this soccer-centric pub comes with comfort sandwiches, craft beer and more. Make sure to get there well before the 7 p.m. kickoff as space is limited.
Austin FC—Austin Anthem watch party, Oskar Blues 10420 Metric Blvd.
If you’re not on the road with us to Frisco, the next best place to be is at @OskarBluesATX. Doors open at noon, Always Hungry food truck on site, live music by @carlyjoofficial and $1 off a select draft will benefit @austinpetsalive. #TurnTexasVerde#CopaTejas#BringItHomepic.twitter.com/kcXBCH7HNS— Austin Anthem (@AustinAnthem) October 27, 2021
Want to get the party started seven hours early? Most of Austin FC fan club Austin Anthem will hit the road for the Dallas match this weekend, but the thousands-strong club will still bring the matchday experience all day long at Oskar Blues brewery.
Doors open at noon, giving you plenty of time to listen to music by local singer-songwriter Carly Jo Jackson and check out food from the Always Hungry food truck. A $1 discount on a select draft beer will benefit Austin Pets Alive as well.
30+ Pub Clubs
For a more relaxed viewing experience, check out Austin FC's 30+ Pub Partners to see if your neighborhood bar is on the list.
Longhorns—Texas Tailgarten at Scholz Biergarten, 1607 San Jacinto Blvd.
Opening early at 10:30 a.m., UT's biggest and longest-running tailgate will be back in action at Scholz Biergarten on Saturday. Since 1866, they've brought the brews, food and Longhorn celebrations to Austinites of all crests and creeds, and they're not stopping now.
Longhorns—KLBJ watch party at Little Woodrow's, 9500 I-35 #100
Radio station KLBJ 93.7 will host a watch party of their own featuring radio host and musical artist B-DOE at Little Woodrow's Southpark Meadows sports bar. Starting at 11 a.m., this party includes specials on certain beers including Budweiser, Bud Light and Michelob Ultra.
Longhorns—Dirty Martin's Place, 2808 Guadelupe St
Enjoy a bar matchday experience just off the Drag at Dirty Martin's Place at 11 a.m. sharp this Saturday! Drink specials and hamburgers will abound in the historic bars' back room. And don't forget your costume—the bar will hold a three-day-long costume contest Friday-Sunday with winners receiving up to a $100 gift card!
Longhorns—Lavaca Street Bar, 405 Lavaca St.
While they haven't posted an event just yet, this sports bar has been hosting watch parties for each game this season and is likely to bring back that burnt orange again this Saturday. Feel free to get comfortable, Verde fans—Lavaca Street Bar has hosted more than a few Austin FC watch parties as well and could play the FC Dallas match later on Saturday.
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🗓 All weekend
Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities
All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park
This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.
6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.
10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park
Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.
Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.
11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway
Timmy and Tommy are ready to play.
As the 2-month-old white-and-tabby brothers swat feather wands, chase toys and generally hold court inside Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, a half-dozen potential adoptive parents look on lovingly, trying to get their attention.
“This is kind of like the speed dating of cats,” said Lupita Foster, owner of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge. “I intentionally didn’t put in any tables. That’s why we call it a lounge instead of a cat café because we have these lounge areas where you can sit and relax and cuddle.”
Foster, who has owned a cleaning company, Enviromaids, for 18 years, was inspired to open Purr-fecto Cat Lounge after adopting her own cat, Romeo, from a local shelter.
“When you want to adopt a cat, you have to spend a lot of time with them to get their personality,” Foster said. “I wanted to do something to help the community and something that makes me feel good, that warms my heart. A business with a purpose. This was a perfect idea.”
Actually, a purr-fect idea.
Inspired in part by a cat lounge she visited in Los Angeles, Foster began laying the groundwork for the business in late 2021 and officially opened the doors of Purr-fecto Cat Lounge, located at 2300 S. Lamar Blvd., in July 2022. Since then, she’s worked with rescue organizations such as Fuzzy Texan Animal Rescue and Sunshine Fund Cat Rescue to facilitate nearly 100 cat adoptions.
At any given time, there are 10-15 cats living in the space, which features an ideal blend of calm, cool corners and adorably Instagrammable backdrops with phrases such as “I want to spend all my 9 lives with you.”
Lina Martinez, 32, learned about Purr-fecto Cat Lounge from a friend’s Instagram post and made an appointment to visit two days later.
“My first impression was, ‘AWW!’” Martinez said. “The kittens were to die for. I felt happy and at peace – just what I needed.”
Visitors to the cat lounge pay $15 for a 30-minute CATXperience session or $30 for a 70-minute session that is spent getting to know the personalities of each cat. Foster said the first thing she typically sees from visitors to the lounge is a smile.
“Everybody that enters the door is smiling,” she said. “And we’ve seen people who have cried because they can’t have kids and they decide to go and adopt a cat instead.”
Foster said she loves bringing in cats who might not have a chance to be adopted at traditional shelters. She told the story of one cat named Izzy, who was partially blind, who was adopted by a family that had a deaf cat at home.
“Izzy was not going to get adopted anywhere else, but she’s extremely beautiful,” she said. “If she was in a cage in a rescue and you tell people she’s blind, she was probably going to be overlooked. But visiting our space, she doesn’t seem like she’s blind. She knows her way around. She moves around perfectly.”
Although Martinez, who had been casually looking for a pet to adopt since moving to Austin nearly four years ago, was interested in a cat named Ruby that she had seen on Purr-fecto’s social media, at the lounge she instead found herself drawn to 5-month-old mixed breed Tuxedo cat.
“I thought he was a star,” she said. “He worked the room and introduced himself to everyone. When I laid down to pet Ruby, he ran from the other side of the room and cuddled with me. It was game over. He got me.”
And she, of course, got him, complete with a commemorative photo that read “My Furrever Family” the day she took him home. Although his original name was Emmanuel, she renamed him Sullivan after her favorite DJ.
“Purr-fecto is special because of the amount of effort and love they put into taking care of the cats,” Martinez said, “and finding them good homes and making possible adopters feel at home.”
Foster, who spent a recent Thursday hosting a group of teenagers in foster care at the lounge, several of whom expressed interest in working there, said the best part about her new endeavor is that her heart is always full.
“I just feel complete,” she said. “I always felt as an entrepreneur that I was missing something. I knew I accomplished a lot, but in my heart I was missing a little connection with the community. Now I’m creating connections between humans and pets and that’s amazing. I’m creating family bonds. It’s just about love, you know. And we need that.”