The Compleat Rainey Street: Icenhauer's
Through the rest of July, I’ll walk through every open door on Rainey Street. See the directory here.
83 Rainey St. 512-473-0005, www.icenhauers.com.
Hours: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday-Saturday. 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday.
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 07.22.12
The drinks here are named for girls. Except for the beer that’s named for a dog, which is appropriate. Because Icenhauer’s is a place for girls and the dawgs who love them, chase them or make themselves content just to be nearby.
There’s the Rachel, a breath-mint version of a mojito with enough soft herb to freshen your mouth but not enough to trigger your good taste, swimming in a swirl of Treaty Oak rum, lemon and basil. Or the Jena, a drink made with pickle-infused vodka and pickle juice that I can’t picture someone named Jena ever ordering. More infusions line a shelf on the bar, which is stacked to the ceiling, ready to make $8-$9 fast-shake versions of the cocktails you pay artisan prices for elsewhere.
On the outside, Icenahauer’s is a gentrified and softly landscaped bungalow. Inside, it’s a den for cheaters and players, with twin communal conversation coves in front and tables like a waiting room in a day spa by the bar. It’s as clean and angular as a Jersey haircut, all glossy concrete, steel, glass and self-consciously rough wood. Outside, sling chairs in groups of two and four are backlit by floods as if each were its own cabana. There’s a firepit around back in a courtyard with a long slat-screen fence and a tall slate-stone border wall, with towering pecan trees to make the heat more tolerable, even if some of that heat comes from cheap drinks and the dreams they inspire.
It’s a good sign for beer drinkers that even the 10 taps at a hook-up place like this are a snapshot of the craft-draft movement: Hops & Grain Pale Dog, Independence Stash, Circle Blur, Real Ale Hans’ Pils. Icenhauer’s is one of the street’s happiest happy-hour destinations.: $2 domestic beers, $3 imports, $3 drafts, $3 wells, $4 wine. Those prices are good all night Monday, from 4-7 and 9-11 Tuesday and 4-7 Wednesday-Saturday. On Thursdays, draft beer is $3 all night, a nice surprise for the guy who’s paying $10 for the strawberry-basil Emily cocktail for the girl he just met named ... Jena.
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)
THE COMPLEAT RAINEY STREET