Via 313 is getting into the neighborhood bar game with their anticipated Nickel City. Owners and brothers Zane and Brandon Hunt will be joined by Travis Tober. He was teased as the bar’s unnamed Buffalo, New York-raised partner. The bar’s name stems from the city’s nickname.
Tober sees Nickel City as becoming a neighborhood bar for Central East Austin. Casual and relaxed is the goal, with daytime and late night hours. The red and green checkered floors even include intentionally randomly placed black tiles. There will be televisions for sports, as well as Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.
Big Nickel is also big on community service. Staffers will even volunteer at community events and spend time at the local community center.
As for the drinks menu, there will be the classics (Manhattans, daiquiris, the more obscure Remember the Maine cocktail), as well as house ones, like the Lovejoy mixed with with mezcal, tequila, watermelon shrub, and lemon. Keeping in line with the casual vibe, cold beer will be served in frosted mugs.
The bar will have a heavy whiskey focus, as well as what it boasts as the state’s largest brandy collection. This includes Nickel City’s customized barrel from brandy distiller Copper & Kings.
There are two bar tops within Nickel: the main area, and then the back pop-up bar, which will serve out of a counter-style window. The latter, dubbed Cash Only, will host guest bartenders from across the country for pop-up events. And, yes, it is cash only. Future mixologists will include Nectaly Mendoza from Las Vegas’ Herbs & Rye and Masa Urushido from Saxon + Parole in New York. Money raised these pop-ups will go towards various community centers.
Because an Austin bar isn't complete without food, the Hunts are also opening a new food truck, Delray Cafe, which will be found in the back patio. The menu is all about Detroit dishes, from coney dogs, cheese fries, fish fries, to chicken wings. Since the bar is opening relatively soon, those teased pop-up previews are off the table.
Tober previously worked as Vox Table’s beverage director, and the Lobby Lounge at the Four Seasons. At Nickel, he joins the Hunts and Javelina's Craig Primozich. J.R. Mocanu, who came from Vox Table, is Nickel's bar manager.
- All Coverage of Nickel City [EATX]