Hidden in a barber shop in the middle of downtown Austin is a straight-up speakeasy. The Good Life Bar Bar is located behind a black door at 201 East 5th Street, and serves drinks amidst a colorful history.
The bar, operated by co-owner Brian Hummel, is located in The Good Life Barber Shop, owned by his former barber Debbie Vidotto and her son Ryan also own. It’s hidden away in an attached one-bedroom apartment where Debbie used to live.
Hummel, who has been in the bar business for 20 years, wanted to open his own place. “I convinced Debbie and Ryan that we could have something really special back there,” he told Eater. “It turned out better than any of us could've imagined!” Good Life Bar Bar debuted in August.
The Good Life Bar Bar is more casual than other downtown speakeasies like Midnight Cowboy and Red Headed Stepchild. It has several brews on tap in addition to a Texas wine list. The bar does not have a license to serve liquor, however, patrons are welcome to bring their own spirits, and the bar will sell a $10 set-up (which includes ice, glasses, and garnishes). The bar also has several mixers for sale, like tonics, juices, and cocktail syrups.
Don’t have a bottle on hand? All American Liquors, conveniently located upstairs, will happily provide alcohol (at a discount). The bar also rents lockers for liquor storage. It does not serve food, but Trejo taco truck stops by on Tuesdays.
Another unique feature of The Good Life Bar Bar is the lipstick wall. In 2006 when Debbie moved in, there were three sets of lip prints on the wall, which is original to the building and dates back to 1925. (Rumor has it the underground space was once home to a gentlemen’s club.) Guests are invited to contribute their prints as well — the bar will even provide new lipstick, which the patron can keep, and a glass of champagne after leaving their mark.
The Good Life Bar Bar is open Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to midnight and Saturday from 2 p.m. to midnight. A red light in front of the entrance indicates it’s okay to enter, but if the light is off, it means the bar is full.
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