by Steve Laperuta on
Last night was my first time at the ESSR. Living on the Eastside, I have enjoyed the new action on this side of 6th street - a welcomed change of venues from the default Longbranch... I was there for a birthday gathering. Our group was already too big for the large table. I was the guy that showed up late and had to squeeze in - to the annoyance of the tables around us. I guess I will echo the other reviews posted below. This place is beautiful inside. Really amazing. It reminded me of a place I checked out in Brooklyn a couple years ago (sorry for the pretentious Brooklyn reference). Perhaps the decor is considered a bit tired, or fucked-out, but it is still neat to me. I can't think of a place in Austin where I was genuinely kind of in awe, once I sat down, and looked around. Just a few folks ordered food. A buddy tried the ox tail. I took a sample - it was okay, tasted like any kind of braised beef you would cook up in the old crock-pot at home. For drinks, I started with Buffalo Trace on the rocks. It was a healthy pour, no complaints. I tasted a few cocktails that friends around me had ordered. They were fine. Always looking for a deal, I quickly switched to their cheap beer of the evening - something from Central America. With some embarrassment, my friends and I ordered them two at a time, as the place was busy and the service was understandably slow. The campfire in the back was a nice touch. Good and smokey. Either way, this is an interesting place - that will get even better when things cool down a bit.
by Karsten P. on
I like Shine -- it has the most casual feel of any lounge other than Mars Bar that I can think of in the city, attracting clubbers, hipsters, and neohippies, among many others. People I met were unpretentious and pleasant. The DJ has been excellent the nights I've stopped in, although the crowd has been light. That did not stop people from dancing:I'd say three quarters of the guests were up and shaking their ass anyway. The decor's interesting but not the dominant element. Nice - a good crossover bar/club scene.