Seven Grand, one of Los Angeles’ top whiskey-obsessed cocktail bars, is making its way into Austin with a Texas expansion on East 7th Street. There’s no set opening date yet, but expect it to debut sometime soon.
Update, June 12: Seven Grand is now open every day from 5 p.m. to close.
Seven’s main focus is whiskey, from bottles, flights, to staple cocktails. Its goal is “to make whiskey accessible and make it approachable,” said Steve White, the general manager of the bar’s parent company 213 Hospitality. The list will include numerous Texas distilleries, including Balcones Distilling and Garrison Brothers Distillery.
Five classic whiskey drinks serve as the backbone of the bar's cocktail list: the old fashioned, sazerac, rye Manhattan, whiskey sour, and mint julep. Andrew Abrahamson, 213’s director of operations, calls those drinks “the cocktails that built Seven Grand.”
“Whiskey only, and classically-driven” is how assistant bar manager Jeramy Campbell describes Seven Grand’s menu. Previously, he was Juliet’s beverage director, and also spent time at Hotel Van Zandt’s Geraldine’s and Jackalope. Along with the core cocktails, there will be “gentle derivatives” of other drinks, but nothing too intense.
Campbell appreciated the new position because he loves whiskey and wants to bring focus back to it. “With the whole craft cocktail scene, we’ve gone a little too far in a lot of ways, and [Seven Grand] brings it back in,” he explained. “Stick with your classics.”
Abrahamson sees Seven Grand as “a true Irish pub, and not in the modern American sense where it’s more of a sports bar.” Rather, he likens it to the bars found in Dublin where “people pick up instruments and start playing them.” It’s “part of the room, part of the ambiance,” he explained.
The space takes on a woodsy vibe, with dark browns and greens, a raw brick wall, welcoming camping diorama, horse lamps and light fixtures, and taxidermied animal heads mounted on the wall. The bar is split into two sections, the main bar and then the pool table area. The new bar will include an Austin outpost of its Whiskey Society, where customers can partake in whiskey tastings with master distillers and brand ambassadors.
Because this is Austin we’re talking about, there is a patio in the back with its own dedicated bar featuring a comparatively smaller whiskey list and community tables. Food isn’t part of the plans, but outside food is encouraged. For other beverages, there are Texas beers, and a single red and white wine options.
213 Hospitality already has its foot in the Austin door with Half Step, the renowned Rainey Street cocktail bar from Chris Bostick, who is a former 213er himself (he served as general manager of essential LA bar The Varnish before moving back home to Austin).
Before Seven Grand came into the picture, previous lives of the 7th Street address include dance club Black & Tan, Rusty's Austin, Transform, and Buffalo Club. 213 Hospitality also represents other bars and restaurants in Los Angeles, and a Seven Grand location in San Diego.
Across the highway from Seven Grand is Via 313’s whiskey bar Nickel City, which will focus on the brown spirit, as well as include a Detroit food truck (though no pizza is planned).
- Seven Grand Austin [Facebook]