On the heels of announcing the opening date of lauded Austin restaurant Emmer & Rye’s upcoming grill house Hestia next month, the team is also indeed opening that Basque-style tapas bar Kalimotxo. It’ll be found at 607 West Third Street, Suite 105 (just next door to Hestia) in downtown Austin starting on Tuesday, November 26, just before Thanksgiving.
On deck will be pintxos (small snacks from northern Spain), which will be displayed at the bar, as well as smaller shared plates. This includes sliced jamón ibérico (Spanish cured ham), preserved seafood, and Basque burnt cheesecake.
As for drinks, there will be the porrón, a wine pitcher which is meant to be poured straight into a person’s mouth from the air, as well as cocktails and wine. The name of the bar refers to a drink from Spain where red wine and cola soda are mixed together (that cocktail will be served on the menu under the name “Tinto de Verano”).
Overseeing Kalimotxo’s drinks are bar manager Brett Esler (who is most known for his longtime work at notable East Austin bar Whisler’s, which he left in October), and general manager Alicia Schmidt (who develops the restaurant group’s stellar wine lists).
The reason for the Basque focus is because co-partner Rand Egbert, who also helps develop the healthier beverage programs at the team’s other casual restaurant Henbit (matcha, superfood lattes, foraged teas, etc.), lived in Spain. Also involved with Kalimotxo are co-partners executive chef Kevin Fink and executive pastry chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph.
Kalimotxo will feature a stand-up bar, indoor seating, and an outdoor patio, which will be dog-friendly. The bar’s hours will be from 4 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, noon to 1 a.m. Saturday, and noon to midnight on Sunday.
Kalimotxo’s neighboring sibling restaurant Hestia is set to open next month on Saturday, December 7, with a focus on live-fire cooking and global influences.
Fink and Bristol-Joseph opened Emmer & Rye, which focused on New American fare with a lens on whole grains, on Rainey Street in 2015, when the team also included then-chef de cuisine Page Pressley. They followed that with casual food hall stand Henbit within downtown Austin food hall Fareground in 2018. Pressley left earlier this February and joined Clarksville restaurant Swedish Hill.
Many of Austin’s more recent tapas bars — El Chipiron, Bullfight, Malaga — have closed within the past three years. The city’s other two tapas restaurants are Barlata on South Lamar and Mia Italian Tapas & Bar in Rock Rose.
- Kalimotxo [Official]
- Kalimotxo [Instagram]
- Emmer & Rye Chef Wants to Bring a Taste of Spain to Austin [EATX]
- Emmer & Rye’s Highly-Anticipated Restaurant Hestia Opens Next Month [EATX]
- All Coverage of Emmer & Rye [EATX]