I mentioned this one in a previous post on the Austin Cosmic Cowboy Tour- the Mean Eyed Cat, so it is worth a quick visit. The Mean Eyed Cat is not likely to be mistaken for a chic and trendy hotspot. No Appletinis here. Sadly, not even real martinis, as they only serve beer, wine, and similar drinks.
There is a little space around the bar for gathering, a bit more around the pool table in the next room, but the big space is semi-outside- under a roof, enclosed with fencing, and housing the rudimentary stage. The quasi-outdoor area is where you can see the Mean Eyed Cat's savior, a 300 year old tree which prevented the old shop from being leveled to make room for yuppie condos. Seating is the mostly picnic bench style in this area, and that encourages conversation.
I like the Mean Eyed Cat, but you have to like it on its terms; for me, its limited menu, funky seating, recycled facility (and appearance) and very rough edges add to its appeal- it will either attract or repel you, but you aren't likely to be ambivalent about it.