From its garden-studded outdoor space and rooftop pool to its cozy-yet-luxury indoor bar and club, Soho House Austin has arrived.
The London-based, members-only club opened its 27th global location, sandwiched in between music venues, iconic Austin eateries and more on South Congress' new Music Lane last month.
While the House's 46 bedrooms and screening room are still in the works, Austonia's Claire Partain and Laura Figi took an exclusive tour around the club's bar, terrace and rooftop pool, all of which opened May 19. Here's an insider's view of the new space, with photos provided by the Austin Soho House itself:
Greens, golds and beiges at the third-floor bar
Inside the bar, which serves as the hub for social hangouts, DJ features and events, club members will feel right at home among the dusty sage green and beige color scheme. The bar is lined with cushioned green stools, a marble countertop and warm lighting.
Cushy seating for both work and play
The airy indoor seating area is lined with professionals during the day, but as the sun begins to set, a strict no-laptop policy is employed. Cushy seats, open to groups both big and small, are designed for both times of day, with plenty of space for members of the community to mingle. Windows line the space to merge both indoor and outdoor seating areas.
Vintage furniture, work from local artists and craftsmen and reclaimed lighting
Brown and beige vintage furniture and lush green vegetation give the room an earthy, Southwestern feel that is somehow authentically Texan. Aged reclaimed floor lamps and glass pendant lights give the space a warm glow.
A full bar menu, from appetizers to gourmet meals
Soho House's bar serves gourmet kitchen items as well, from homemade Tex-Mex items like guacamole to deluxe pizzas. The Texas-inspired kitchen is led by Chef Dustin Musgrave, a former executive chef at Soho House Chicago.
A lush terrace complete with views
Soho House worked with local artists and craftspeople to merge both Texas Modernism and Spanish contemporary styles, and it's best seen on the terrace. A wooden pergola hangs overhead, and more seating is nestled in every corner between native Texas plants, with chairs centered around a large tree. The outdoor club space overlooks Austin's Music Lane, with views of the city and more greenery amid the terrace gardens.
The rooftop pool overlooking downtown
The Soho House rooftop pool hasn't gotten much use in the weeks of rain, but Austonia still got a peek at the house's crown jewel. The House's Spanish feel is embodied by red-and-white tile, while shaded seating equipped with coolers line the entire pool. While taking a dip, club members get a birds-eye view of the city on the third floor.
From spicy to sweet, the bar's drinks have plenty to offer
Just like the rest of the space, Soho House's bar menu can make club members feel both surprised and at home. For a Texas feel, try the spicy Picante, or stick to a classic Soho House Mule.
After looking at all it has to offer, you might be wondering how you can join. Admission to the club is on the steeper end—membership is $3,500 annually for access to every location and $2,290 for Austin-only entry, and the bar still comes with $14 drinks. Still, the club offers huge discounts to those under 27 ($1,750 and $1,140, respectively), and the space also provides something many consider priceless: for many Austin creatives, it's a one-of-a-kind club perfect for building a community.
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Expect some whiplash this week, Austinites: with an expected high of 103 degrees, Monday is predicted to be the hottest day of the year, but a midweek cold front is on the way to bring that first glimpse of fall.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport could see its first 100-degree temperature this year on Monday as temperatures citywide are expected to exceed this year's record of 102 degrees.
The cold front arrives Tuesday afternoon to evening.#atx #atxwx #cbsaustinwx https://t.co/rQni6ug3y4 pic.twitter.com/PoFeHPYtnM
— Chikage Windler WX (@ChikageWeather) September 20, 2021
After a typical summery Tuesday with highs in the mid-90s, Wednesday will welcome the first signs of fall as a cold front drops lows into the 50s.
Expect more wind and a chance of rain come Tuesday with a 40% chance of scattered storms. The cold front, which should last through Friday, will bring drier, crisper air that could cause fire hazards on Wednesday.
Highs will be in the upper 80s and lows in the 50s and lower 60s for the front's final two mornings.
After near record heat today, a cold front arrives tomorrow! Hang in there South-Central Texas, we have almost made it. pic.twitter.com/yd9UbNo7hY
— NWS Austin/San Antonio (@NWSSanAntonio) September 20, 2021
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After months of speculation, a new report says political personality Beto O'Rourke is mulling a run for Texas governor that he will announce later this year.
Sources tell Axios the former congressman is preparing his campaign for the 2022 election, where he will likely vie for the position against incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott. The only other candidate that has announced he will take on Abbott for governor is former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West—no Democrats have announced they are running as of yet.
"No decision has been made," Axios reports David Wysong, O'Rourke's former House chief of staff and a longtime adviser, said. "He has been making and receiving calls with people from all over the state."
A new poll from The Dallas Morning News and University of Texas at Tyler shows O'Rourke is narrowing the gap between himself and Abbott's prospects for governor. In the poll, 37% said they'd vote for O'Rourke over Abbott, while 42% said they'd vote for Abbott.
Abbott has been in the hot seat due to his handling of COVID-19 and the signing of landmark legislation into law, including new abortion and voting rights laws; 54% of poll respondents voted they think the state is headed in the "wrong direction." Still, Texas hasn't had a Democrat as governor since the 90s.
O'Rourke's people-focused approach to the 2018 Senator race, which he lost to Sen. Ted Cruz, gave him a widespread following and many hoped he'd throw his hat into the ring since he said he was considering it earlier this year.
"We hope that he's going to run," Gilberto Hinojosa, the state chair of the Democratic Party, told Axios. "We think he'll be our strongest candidate. We think he can beat Abbott because he's vulnerable."
Austin rapper Jordi Esparza may not have won the 2021 Red Bull Batalla, the world's largest Spanish freestyle rap competition, but for a spirited two rounds, the 22-year old Mexican native looked like he had every right to.
On Saturday evening in Los Angeles, the event itself looked like Cobra Kai meets Star Search with graphics adding a very Batman Beyond aesthetic. Over a dozen rappers hoping to represent the U.S. in the international round of the competition took to the stage with in-your-face jabs at accents, sexual orientation and odors, among other things.
This was Esparza's second rodeo; he had placed third at the 2020 National Finals, automatically securing him a spot this year.
However, things were different this year. He was not nervous about the contest. Unlike in 2020, when he made his Red Bull Batalla debut, the anxiety of the event led him to "feeling so bad."
Affecting a casual calm, the locally-based landscaper said he just felt "so relaxed, so happy" and primarily wanted to "enjoy everything."
Choosing his first-round opponent, Esparza, whose stage name is Jordi, elected to go against LA-based Boss.
Esparza freestyled an attack on his opponent's weight and cholo style of dress.
Boss—bracketing his Latin freestyle with English appeals to the crowd—mocked Jordi's lack of education, made fun of how clean Jordi's shoes looked and suggested that Jordi just came back from a Footlocker.
That first round went to Jordi.
But his next opponent Eckonn would prove to be his undoing.
Eckonn compared Jordi to Hannah Montana, while Jordi soulfully explained that he had learned from the best.
Esparza's verbal dexterity is matched by a rattling rhythm and a game face that is as mawkish as it is mockish. The overall effect is that of an underdog with bite.
Eckonn beat Esparza in that round with the overall championship going to Palm Beach-based rapper Reverse.
However, Esparza was just happy to be there. He recently told Austonia going to the finals again was a dream come true—a pinnacle that he said he won't know how to top.
With his nimble jabs and sneaky prowess, honed from pop culture and the swagger of a young working man hungry to be more, Jordi Esparza is just getting started.