Last month we told you about the coming of the Workhorse Bar, a drinking establishment moving into the old Parlor space on North Loop. It'll open just a few doors down from the Tigress Pub, and a stone's throw from the new drink.well pub. Drinking on North Loop will soon be an actual thing! Eater Austin stopped by the Workhorse late last week to talk to owners Steve Ettle and Brent Broyles about their plans for the place and thoughts on the future of North Loop.
"We want to run the gamut from having the Adelbert's to the cheap $2 cans," explains Ettle. He and Broyles were avid home-brewers before starting Workhorse, and they're open about their affinity for beers of all kinds. Continues Ettle: "It's important to have those kinds of options, because those are the places we like to go."
Ettle and Broyles think Workhorse--so named for a song from prog-rock band Mastodon--will fit right in on North Loop, which will soon have a number of options for boozers and teetotalers alike between the drinking spots and vintage shops. "I think having a few destinations and making it something of a little, mini-pub crawl could be a really cool thing," says Ettles.
"And it's really cool for each place to have its own personality," says Broyles, who has worked in the service industry for years. "I knew I didn't want to do a desk job," he says, so he and Ettle started talking seriously about opening their own place. That's when the research began. And by "research," we mean "hanging out at a lot of bars taking copious notes."
Neighborhood by neighborhood, Ettle and Broyles asked themselves: Does this area have a draught beer bar? Does it need one? Says Ettles: "We would go to each of these places with a spreadsheet and write down how many TV's they had, what kind of jukebox they had, what kind of beer." When the guys heard the Parlor wouldn't be renewing their lease, they jumped at the opportunity to move in.
They're going for a dive bar aesthetic, but with Austinized amenities like a customized patio with music-themed murals and locally sourced bar food like wings and burgers. They'll also pair cheeses and drinks with plates from Antonelli's Cheese Shop, and Broyles says they've also talked to Thunder Heart Bison about meat sourcing.
"We know we can't do it all, but we think we can do most of our meat and most of our produce locally," says Broyles. "Keep it simple, but still local."
Ettle and Broyles say they hope to be open by SXSW.
Brent Broyles (left) and Steve Ettle. [Photo: Workhorse Bar/Facebook]