305 E. 5th St., Downtown
Antone’s reopened downtown last year three blocks from its original 1970s location. Inside, the show posters lining the walls from the likes of B.B. King and Ray Charles read like a Blues Hall of Fame. Now the two-story venue aims to not only bring in big-name acts coming through town, but to introduce showgoers to great music, including artists they may not have heard of. It also helps that hometown hero, musician Gary Clark Jr., who played some of his early gigs here, is also a partner.
434 W. 2nd St., Downtown
This trendy movie theater downtown right by the Colorado River is a great date spot (obviously), and so much more: The Violet Crown is set up to make it enjoyable if you show up early, not just to save the best seats, but to take full advantage of their next-level concessions: Their full bar and modest-but-excellent food menu is the perfect companion for the latest blockbusters, though they also show select classic films. Here you’ll find healthier alternatives to buttery popcorn—think hummus and veggies, cheese and fruit, and a cranberry-kale salad—made from locally sourced ingredients, as well as your traditional comfort food like pizza, hot dogs, and french fries. Their artisanal cocktails and local craft beers are satisfyingly extensive, as is their wine list, from which you can order either by the glass—there’s also a “large pour” option—or by the bottle. If you’re up for a matinée, they also have a café serving espresso, coffee, tea, and treats.
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