The new and improved Tavern, that historic sports bar and restaurant on the edge of the western downtown area, is ready to reveal its new changes, from a slightly fresher look to an updated menu on 922 West 12th Street that debuted this week.
Esther’s Follies’ co-founders and co-owners Shannon Sedwick and Michael Shelton purchased the bar after it went up for sale last winter. They wanted to be able to “preserv[e] a bit of Old Austin in a city rife with closings of iconic spaces, including Frisco’s and others,” according to a statement.
Under chef Ana Stewart, the pub menu features newer items like beef stroganoff, charred seafood burgers, and grilled seafood avocado salads. Classic dishes, like the Tavern burger, chicken fried steak, and those chicken wings covered in bacon and jalapenos and drenched in white wing sauce.
For drinks, there are newer cocktails and craft beer selections from new bar manager Arielle Glath. As for physical changes, there is a new upstairs performance stage for live music. Stewart and Glath both used to work at Lucky Lounge and Halcyon. Consulting on the menu was chef Raymond Tatum, of essential food truck Three Little Pigs.
Sedwick and Shelton aren’t entirely new to the Tavern either. They ran the bar back in the late ’70s and ’80s. They’re also the ones who opened legendary nightclub Liberty Lunch in the ’70s. They currently own Patsy’s Cowgirl Cafe too.
The bar is hosting a launch party this weekend with drink specials and music, from Friday to Sunday, August 24 to 26.
The physical Tavern building opened in 1916 as a grocery store, then it turned into a steakhouse in 1929, a speakeasy and brothel during the Prohibition, and finally converted into the German sports bar in 1933.