Backbeat, Austin’s highly anticipated cocktail bar by husband and wife team Michael and Jessica Sanders, is now open to the public. Centrally located in the bustling South Lamar neighborhood, the rhythm of Backbeat comes to life in a stylish, two-story venue including a cocktail lounge and a rooftop patio with stunning views. The Backbeat menu incorporates a curated spirits selection for innovative twists on classic cocktails, highlighting world whisky, rhum, brandy, amari, champagnes and fortified wines, along with craft beers.


“It is very exciting to open south of the river in this neighborhood. South Lamar has always been an important cultural destination in Austin and, over time, has become a culinary one as well,” said Michael Sanders. “We are looking forward to Backbeat being a spirited part of this community and the vibrant social scene here.”


Envisioned in collaboration with Jamie Chioco of Chioco Design, the venue creates a cozy and inviting space featuring natural lighting and warm palettes in an energetic setting. In addition to the first level bar, guests can enjoy a rooftop deck pavilion opening to a beautiful view of the downtown Austin skyline from the bar’s prime location. The two contemporary spaces are integrated with creative design elements ensuring guests will always feel connected.


Driven by bold flavors, the Backbeat menu remixes classic cocktails with playfully imaginative and unexpected ingredients. While each cocktail is unique, the menu is segmented into three distinctive categories: Upbeat, Downbeat and Offbeat.

The Upbeat cocktails are vibrant spirits, often shaken with citrus, fresh herbs or seasonal fruit. Exemplifying the Upbeat spirits is Backbeat’s namesake cocktail, a bright and herbaceous variation of the classic Southside cocktail with gin and fresh-pressed celery juice. For more spirit-forward flavors with heavier spices, the Downbeat cocktails incorporate brooding spirits, fortified wines and heavier cordials and bitters. Capturing the essence of the Downbeat, the Leisure Suit is created in the style of the 1960s jazz era with gin, Galliano liqueur, aperitif quina, orange bitters and an aromatic absinthe rinse.


Along with cocktails, the bar offers wine, cider and beer, including six craft brews on tap and 10 wines by the glass, including a rotating program that will showcase a single grower-producer Champagne house.  Complementing the beverage selection, Backbeat offers a menu of small bites. Savory and sharable options include raw east coast oysters, artisan salumi and cheese boards with selections from Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, a paté melt with house pork and chicken pâté and melted gruyere, a chicken liver mousse with house-based brioche and blackberry jam and more.


Backbeat is open TuesdayFriday from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m., Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. until 2 a.m., and is closed on Monday. The bar is also available for private parties and events with a reservation and accommodates seating for up to 120 guests. Backbeat offers a small lot on the South Lamar Blvd. entrance, with additional street parking behind the building on Lamar Square. For more information, visit

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