The Rotten Bunch, an Avery Ranch wine bar opening in the fall, aims to show that wine isn’t as pretentious as it seems, so explains co-owner Arik Skot Williams. Run by the Bartlett’s executive chef along with co-owner Alan Thomas, the two want to make wine accessible to everyone. "It’s just rotten grape juice," Williams told Eater, so drinkers shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions and try new things. Food will be secondary to the wine. The dinner-only menu includes dishes with simple ingredients, like hand-pulled mozzarella, risotto, meats and cheese plates, chocolate truffles, and lemon icebox tarts.
The former Waterloo Ice House space on 14900 Avery Ranch Boulevard was designed by McCray and Company, the same firm that worked on Lenoir, Ramen Tatsu-Ya’s South Lamar spot, and Odd Duck. The wine room will be visible to everyone. The 24-foot bar is made from reclaimed white oak. The front retail area, what Williams calls the "bodega," will have bottles of beer and wine for sale, along with charcuterie and cheese. While the back patio might not be open right away, it will have a living room atmosphere. Williams sees it as a place for people in Cedar Park to hang out without having to trek to downtown Austin, where suits and flip flops are equally received.