Rainey Street beer garden Banger’s is finally unveiling the expansion that has been in process since 2014. The expansion, which includes the three-story, 15,000 square foot building at 81.5 Rainey Street, will officially open tomorrow, November 9, at 5 p.m.
The expansion sees several new ventures for Banger’s. The new building has a tap wall with 101 taps, bringing the total to 207 for all of Banger’s, which they believe is the largest draft system in Texas. In an interview with Eater Austin, owner Ben Siegel confirmed the two taps walls will be curated slightly differently. The new taps will be more approachable and the old taps more “esoteric” (he envisions a server walking you through the experience).
The building also houses a private 300-person event space with a grand staircase, custom pig bone wallpaper from Lauren Dickens, and full bar. Siegel notes this means Banger’s will no longer have to close for private events.
The cocktail menu, only for the event space, was curated by Austin bar legend Justin Elliott, formerly of Juniper, Townsend, and Qui. (Elliott has been making the rounds lately, curating menus for the new private dining room at the Stephen F. Austin Hotel and wine bar Rotten Bunch.) The subterranean space also houses the pickling room for Banger’s creations.
The building also features a sausage-making room (passers-by will see how the sausage gets made, as the room faces the street), a charcuterie room (which features one of Siegel’s favorite additions: a custom-made butcher block table from Boomtown Design), and an additional 5,000 square feet of outdoor porch space (and yes, the dog park is returning). Throughout the space, there are antique doors salvaged by Siegel’s wife, Lauren Siegel, with In Good Taste Design, and custom lights from Mickie Spencer. The overall look is by Lilianne Steckel Interior Design and In Good Taste Design.
The new smokehouse with a vertical smoker, grill, and that whole-hog barbecue (custom designed by Backline Fabrication) is not quite open yet. That will happen at the end of the month, but Siegel shared the menu in advance with Eater Austin.
Expect meats like pulled whole hog (also available as a sandwich), pork ribs, sweet tea smoked turkey, bacon, and of course, sausages. Sides include a barbecue hash, stewed green beans with ham, mac and cheese made with pig drippings, ash-roasted sweet potato, collard greens, loaded pig skins, and baked beans. There’s also slaws, pickles, and potato salad.
Until the smokehouse opens, the new building will only be open on weekends: Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to midnight, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.