Austin Bar Takes Date Night Up A Notch – The Quill Room Brings Romantic Vibes With Style
Austin Proper's cozy second floor watering hole offers an live music, innovative cocktails and swanky decor
Choosing the perfect bar for a romantic evening with your partner (or with a brand-new love interest) can be a challenge in Austin. That’s why we look to some of the city’s intimate hotel lounges for date-night purposes.
While popular Austin hotels often come with busy and buzzy main-floor bars, some boutique establishments also have serene bars tucked into their property’s quieter nooks, making ideal IYKYK date destinations. You’ll find a prime example in The Quill Room at the uber-hip Austin Proper in Downtown Austin.
The Austin Proper features gorgeous views of Lady Bird Lake, a chic Southwest-meets-coastal-California design scheme created by Instagram-famous interior designer Kelly Wearstler, and a food & beverage program developed by MML Hospitality, the talented restaurant group whose many ATX projects include Howards Bar & Club, Pecan Square Cafe, Sammie’s Italian, and Jeffrey’s Restaurant and Bar. The MML spots at Austin Proper are The Peacock (a lively lobby bar and restaurant with Mediterranean-accented dishes and cocktails), La Piscina (a rooftop pool bar with modern Mexican cuisine and an agave-focused cocktail list), and a semi-secluded bar and live music space on the second floor known as The Quill Room.
When you head into the Austin Proper lobby en route to The Quill Room, you’ll immediately notice that there’s no signage pointing you in its direction. That’s very much by design; The Quill Room is meant to feel a bit secret and speakeasy-ish. But if you ask one of the very helpful front desk associates for the location, they’ll be more than happy to direct you to the second floor. You’ll turn a discreet corner, and there you’ll be.
The decor at The Quill Room has a multilayered effect; on the one hand, rich brown and crimson tones and leather sofas and bar stools give it a masculine, cowboy-like energy. But on the other, boho accents like floral wallpaper, Persian rugs, live greenery, and vintage-style glassware soften its edges and make the space feel like your coolest friend’s living room. The outdoor patio follows a similar visual theme, with chic wooden lounge chairs and a plethora of gorgeously-tended plant life.
For The Quill Room menu, MML Hospitality drew inspiration from Parisian salons. You’ll find a fleet of beautifully-balanced martinis, ranging from the “Classic” with gin or vodka, dry vermouth, and (optional) olive brine to the “French” with vanilla vodka, Chambord, and pineapple. Other cocktails lean in an aromatic and romantic direction, with highlights including the La Vie En Rose, which combines smoky and spicy jalapeño-infused mezcal with sweet and fruit-forward illet Rose liqueur, creme de mezcal (a mezcal-based liqueur made with fruits, herbs, and roasted agave syrup), and fragrant rose water. Gallic bites like foie gras custard and a tuna niçoise-style carpaccio also fit right into the theme.
The Quill Room is a visually stunning bar with comfortable seating and flavorful libations. However, this venue is so appropriate for a special evening out with a special someone because The Quill Room was built specifically for intimate cafe-style musical performances. Austin Proper’s musical curators seek to highlight local talent, and on the night of our visit, we were treated to a set from Rett Smith, a singer, songwriter, and guitarist whose sound feels very indie folk-rock, but with a very Texan twist.
If you’re looking for an evening in prime downtown Austin with great music, stellar cocktails, and comfy but stylish vibes, The Quill Room will serve you very well.