Justin Elliott, the founding general manager and beverage director of The Townsend, left the downtown cocktail bar earlier this month. Taking over his position is Dushan Zaric as the new executive beverage director. He is one of the co-owners of lauded cocktail bar Employees Only, which is also coming to Austin.
Zaric has been part of The Townsend team for the past several months. Brian Bounds, whom Elliott trained, and Jeff Boley, who will join the bar from Garage, are Townsend’s principal bartenders. The new cocktail menu is available starting today.
Those new additions include The Billionaire Cocktail (bourbon, pomegranate grenadine, lemon, absinthe bitters), Lady Ann (vodka, creme de peche, chareau aloe vera liqueur, more) and Best Hotel National in ATX (rum, apricot liqueur, pineapple, more). Some of Elliott’s cocktails, including the Bottom Buzzer, will stay on the menu.
Last spring, Zaric stepped away from from liquor company 86 Company over sexism accusations concerning a job posting for Employee's Only Singapore location, which called for female waitresses and supervisors rather than barbacks and bartenders.
The Townsend opened in July 2015 with Elliott and principal owner Steven Weisburd. Employees Only is set to expand to Austin with the help of The Townsend, but no further information, like location or opening date, is known at this point. Other expansions include the recently-debuted one in Miami and Singapore.