What are you doing?
I'm consuming at least one drink at every single bar along the entire length of Sixth Street from west to east. As of 2017, that means beginning at Cover 3 and ending at Hops and Grain Brewery. I will try to take it as linearly as possible, just to give a sense of narrative progression, but I might have to skip around a bit as dictated by bar scheduling.
What counts as a bar?
This posed profound philosophical problems for me, since, particularly on West Sixth, the line between "bar" and "place that also serves alcohol" is about as fuzzy as my memory after a night of drinking. A bar could be:
- Any place that serves alcohol
- Any place with a bartender
- Any place that you can drink at
- Any place with an alcohol permit
I'm going to be as inclusive as possible, so expect some amusing posts where I show up to a restaurant or a club to order "your finest beverage" and am handed a glass of house red or a watered-down G&T.
How many bars is that?
If you cast your net widely, you will catch many fish. There are over one hundred alcohol-serving venues along the full length of Sixth Street. Since bars open and close all the time, backtracking to cover whatever opened along the way is a must. It reminds me of Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged's mission in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to insult everyone in the universe in alphabetical order, except a bit more positive for all concerned.
For the curious, I have a spreadsheet of all of the known bars here. As far as I know, this is the only list of all bars on Sixth Street that exists anywhere.
What are you ordering?
I'm a big believer in trusting the bar to make me something good - Dealer's Choice is a personal mantra. I have fairly broad drinking tastes, and in my experience, asking my server to bring me something that they personally enjoy or recommend has never gone wrong. Asking for whatever a professional thinks is the best drink at their particular establishment and seeing where that takes me, especially with such a wide variety of bars, will yield an extremely diverse drink collection.
How fast will you go?
One of the greatest drinking feats I've read about is where two guys drank at every single bar on the longest road in Chicago, Western Ave, in just three days. That's too much for me. Not only am I not that hardcore, there's no way to effectively post about each individual bar I visit along the way after I'm 20 beers in. Visiting two or three bars each night, with one or two drinks per bar, every few days, is a steady, reasonable pace that ensures the whole street is completed in a few months.
Is it just you?
They say you're never alone with a beer in your hand, but no - my friends are an integral part of this project. Expect drunken group selfies and some guest posts from them as well.
I'm far from the first person to drink on Sixth Street, but to my knowledge no one has ever deliberately drank at every single bar. Or, if they have, they didn't post about it on the internet, which basically means it never happened, right? There's a real element of pride in being the first person to deliberately accomplish this feat. Even if it's basically pointless, it's still a point of distinction.
Additionally, a project like this is a great way to give some meaning and purpose to a night of bar-hopping with friends. Have you ever had a weekend night where you and your friends are stuck haggling over where to grab a quick beer, trapped between one side of town vs the other, beer selection vs better food, half-priced cocktails vs convenient parking, and so on? This neatly solves every one of those dilemmas in one stroke: just do the next one available on the list, and everyone can join or go off on side-quests as desired.
Also, more personally to me as a native Austinite, Sixth Street has always been a part of my life. Whether going to the Pecan Street festival in elementary school, practicing my binge drinking in college bars after I turned 21, or just enjoying lazy Sunday afternoons playing ping pong at Easy Tiger, I've spent a good chunk of time enjoying Sixth Street yet never systematically thinking about it. Fed Man Walking, a phenomenal Austin food blogger, spent 2015 looking at the city from a food perspective in his 500 Tacos Project, and this is my way of doing something similar for Sixth Street. It has a very interesting history, with many aspects that even natives like myself are unaware of, so whether I'm drinking at a historic venue like the Driskill or the latest speakeasy, I hope to discover more about my own city.