Chuggin' Monkey. 219 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Visited 2/18/17 @ 4pm.
Monkey Juice. Deep Eddy peach vodka, Sprite, lime, and Red Bull Red Edition. $9.50.
I don't like drinks that come with a side drink that's not alcohol. It comes off like the bartender was too lazy to determine the proper proportions for my drink and threw up their hands: "here, you figure this out". Someone more charitable might see it as me getting a bonus side drink of Red Bull to consume at my leisure, like I was a passenger in coach and the stewardess with the drink cart left me a full can of Coke instead of the normal few ounces. Sure. In fairness, I did enjoy the drink. Peach is Deep Eddy's newest vodka flavor, and it's just as good as all the others, and I have to admit that the extra energy that I got from the Red Bull couldn't have hurt me during my later stops.
Chuggin' Monkey is a college classic, one of those undergrad-friendly joints that attracts newly-minted drinkers like a days-old cup of warm Natty Light attracts gnats. Little has changed since I graduated: during our Saturday afternoon visit, two dudes were playing a game of beer pong off to the side. They were using water in their cups instead of beer, that ritual display of responsibility which bars use to ward off the vengeful ghouls at the TABC who hover around to be invoked at the slightest sign of a liability event. The rest of the arcade games and other amusements looked fairly undermanned, but why play those when you have beer pong, the greatest college game ever invented?
Chuggin' Monkey is still a bar that doesn't demand much out of its patrons other than that they can pay their tabs, although I don't remember drinks costing $9.50 back in the day. You can listen to the acoustic strummings of the musician of the day, kibitz at the beer pong table, play some games, wander between the floors, and otherwise pretend to be on the kind of endless spring break reserved for a Harmony Korine movie. It's owned by the same folks as the Dogwood, although unlike the Dogwood there isn't a sister bar up in the Domain. Then again, for many Austinites the Domain isn't exactly where they'd want to go on a spring break, or really any break at all, even if the Domain also has plenty of $9.50 cocktails. It's all about finding your own scene.