Alamo Drafthouse sells downtown Austin Midnight Cowboy cocktail bar

The must-see Midnight Cowboy cocktail bar, one of the city’s first true underground bars, is now under new ownership. Alamo Drafthouse founders Tim League and Karrie League sold the 313 East Sixth Street business to bar management company FBR, as originally reported by Austin 360. The agreement was concluded on December 31, 2021.

Midnight Cowboy has taken the art of drinking seriously, offering classic drinks in an elegant space (formerly a massage parlor) and top-notch service (cocktails at the table). Entry involved some random door and signage (neon stating “Midnight Cowboy Modeling”) and a system involving the buzzing of an unmarked entry button. Reservations were always required with time limits, and there was a ban on cell phones.

The Leagues opened Midnight Cowboy in 2012, under the leadership of then Alamo Beverage Director Bill Norris and then Director Brian Dressel. Alumni include Tacy Rowland, Robert Björn Taylor, and Michael Phillips, among many others.

FBR, under the leadership of co-founders Max Moreland and Matt Luckie, is known to have taken over operations and reorganized major existing Austin bars. There is the evil eyed cat (who open in 2004, with the takeover of FBR in 2013) and Lala’s Little Nugget (opened in 1972, and FBR entered the scene in 2015). Under the aegis of the company are also Stagger Lee (in the former space of the restaurant No Va sur Rainey), DuMont’s Down Low (in the basement of the former Fado’s Irish Pub), Lavaca Street Bars, Star Bar , Gibson Street Bar, the Wheel and Graceland Grocery.

Meanwhile, Midnight Cowboy has remained open. Current bar manager Brittany McMillan will remain in place, as the publication reports. Eater asked for more information.

Similar to Midnight Cowboy, Alamo Drafthouse closed its flagship theater, the Ritz, which was opposite the bar, officially in March 2021, as the chain filed for bankruptcy.


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