Retro Recreation

January 14th, 2010  |  City: | Published in Events & Activities  |  2 Comments

highball balls
I’ve always been one to notice patterns. One such reoccuring theme I have recently become aware of is the retro trend, especially in Austin.  According to Merriam-Webster, “retro” means fashionably nostalgic, and even though it should be expected that history repeats itself, I can’t help but notice it in everything from the colorful tights the ladies are sporting everywhere to music (any Michael Bublé fans out there?) and most recently the Austin entertainment scene.
I’ve visited two retro spots recently that I thought I’d share with you in case you’re in the mood to be nostalgic and go back to the good ol’ days of simple fun. Visit them separately, or make a retro day or date out of them!
1) The HighBall– Austin’s newest entertainment center was recently opened by the owners of Alamo Drafthouse, and it lives right next to the South Lamar location of the cinema-eatery. It includes:
  • A bar, where you can endulge in food or drinks while lounging in the main room lined by leather/vinyl wall decor
  • Seven private karaoke rooms, each themed from Disco to Heavy Metal, where props are provided to enhance the musical fun
  • Bowling– 8 bowling lanes traveled all the way from Rock n’ Bowl in New Orleans and are the original lanes installed there in 1959. (source: Reservations may be tricky and sometimes require bottle service, but if you’re willing to grab a drink and wait for awhile, depending on the day, you may luck out with a few lanes! *Just be careful! I jammed my finger when I went to select my striker and the ball from the last player came shooting back up from the lane, instead of rolling up from under it! A quick reminder that we take modern technology for granted!
  • Skee-Ball– 4 old-fashioned Skee Ball lanes provide instant fun where tickets you win can be redeemed for a variety of prizes.

Also, check out The HighBall for Happy Hour from 4:30-7 PM, when you can enjoy up to 2 hours of free karaoke with a food purchase. And, if you purchase one appetizer or entreé, you can enjoy $2 Lone Stars, $3 local beers, and $5 well drinks. What a classic way to end the work day!

Along with classic bowling lanes comes taking score by hand!

Along with classic bowling lanes comes taking score by hand!

2) 24 Diner– In my opinion, there’s no better way to end a weekend than by participating in one of my favorite Sunday morning rituals… brunching with great company just to catch up and endulge in the day’s first dose of tasty nourishment. Okay, so I really just embellished that sentence, but long story short, weekend brunch is a delight. Austin brunch spots consist of the traditionals (Kerbey Lane Cafe and Magnolia Cafe), the extravagant (Moonshine and Chez Zee) and recently, the hip (Union Park and the Belmont), to name a few. 

Now you can visit the retro: 24 Diner.  With high booths, stools at the counter near the kitchen, classic white ceramic teacups and saucers, 24 Diner, located next to Waterloo Records across from Whole Foods on 6th and Lamar, provides a modern-retro dining experience 24 hours a day. It feels hip and classic all at the same time, a welcome and unique contrast I experienced at The HighBall. And, local ingredients are used whenever possible and featured on their hand-written chalkboard above the kitchen counter. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or need a unique spot for a breakfast meeting, or need a place to grab a late night snack or drink, 24 Diner is the place to be.

24 horiz montage
*24 Diner delights (from L to R): White ceramic teacup and saucer with Mighty Leaf tea, rich and creamy steel-cut oats with apple chutney and brown sugar (delish!), and goat cheese and tomato frittata, photo courtesy: Karie Meltzer.
Also, check out another retro spot, Snack Bar, on South Congress….another cozy spot that brings us back to the personal and traditional coffee shop days!

24 Diner on Urbanspoon



  1. Jodi says:

    January 20th, 2010 at 7:42 pm (#)

    I’m so behind! I still need to visit BOTH of these spots! Thanks for reminding me to add them to my list, Rebecca 🙂

  2. Retro Bizarro – Old School Treats with a Twist says:

    February 8th, 2010 at 8:08 am (#)

    […] Irony. It’s everywhere. Take the phrase “old news”, for example.  Think about that. If it’s news, then it is new information.  So how can news be old?  Similarly, how can something antiquated also be new?  It can. We see it in vintage clothing and furniture for example.  The whole idea of history repeating itself that applies to fashion, has seeped into the Austin culture through recreation and food. […]

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