Fortney Home: The Best Bar Furniture in Austin

13 Feb
Steamer trunk bar

Steamer trunk bar. Very retro.

When I moved to Austin 16 years ago,  I lived downtown and walked everywhere.  There are great houses to gawk at and back then some of them even had actual residents in them.  One of my favorite stops in my wanderings was Fortney Home, that great place next to Z’Tejas on 6th that looks like a sculpture studio exploded out front.

Inside is always like wandering through a museum, if a museum had great stuff you could buy.  It’s packed to the gills, and while it’s hard to pin down the aesthetic too narrowly, I call it Jazz Age. Classy, elegant, a little irreverent with quite a few twists.  This is actually not a surprise, because Brad Fortney owned a record store called JAZZMAN back in Nacogdoches years ago.

Some of my favorite items are the bar-as-furniture pieces.  This one in particular took my fancy, because it looks like a plain old (well, nice) TV cabinet when closed.

Bar cabinet Fortney Home Austin

A happy surprise!

But when you open it; voila!  It’s full of crystal and mirrored wonders! It holds wine glasses, bottles, decanters; everything the modern-day Jay Gatsby needs.  Because that is what I think of when I see this, someone with a Jay Gatsby life, or the ambition of such.

Here’s another one to die for, mid-century with an even more James Bondian secret cabinet.

Mid-century bar Fortney Home Austin

Imagine the oohs and aahs when you open up this baby!

Fortney’s carries what I am sure is the largest inventory in Austin of bar furniture, they have at least 5 or 6 in stock at the store. You can usually see a few on their Storefront at the Market, but head in to the store if you’re serious.   Here are a few more examples:

Fortneys Austin Bar Furniture

Compact and efficient.

Large bar Fortneys Austin

This one’s for the serious only!

Mirrored bar cabinet Fortneys Austin

Difficult to appreciate in a photo because of all the mirrors, so you’ll need to stop by to see it.

Fortneys bar accessories

They also have a great selection of bar accessories, from decanters to cocktail shakers.

But if one of these beauties isn’t in the cards, what about re-purposing one of those old deep TV armoires?  Put some mirrors in, add a few glass racks, maybe some velvet on the shelves (hey, why not?) and voila, you’ve got a bar.  If that still seems daunting, Fortney’s does custom work, so you can have them pimp out your armoire for you.

So wander by, get lost and find something wonderful.  You’re sure to feel cooler just from having walked in.

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