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Texas Tavern Opens in Former Ivy League-Themed Bar Space in Downtown Austin

New tenants at the former Academia address hope with fewer (or maybe just different) gimmicks

Boozy cupcake at Texas Tavern
Boozy cupcake at Texas Tavern
Texas Tavern/Facebook
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

There’s a new bar opening in downtown Austin in the former home of cocktail bar Academia. Texas Tavern is now open on 208 West 4th Street as of today, Wednesday, July 17.

Involved in Texas Tavern are Rob Pate of the next-door French restaurant Peche, John Nelson and Craig Cargill of the Railhouse in Kyle, Texas, and Doug Quint.

Acknowledging the West 4th Street space’s multiple predecessors (see below), the team believes that they opened something new to “accommodate a much more desirable level of entertainment,” according to Cargill.

“We feel the space evolved from an overstocked cocktail bar,” Cargill continued, “to a place where you can enjoy great food and great drinks on a cowhide seat while watching a sacred cornerstone of the Lone Star culture: football.”

The name Texas Tavern is obviously a nod to the state, which means the menu leans southern and Texas, from fried green tomatoes to chili cheeseburgers to banana bread pudding to the occasional boozy cupcake. For drinks, there are Texas beers, liquors, and even seltzers.

Before Texas Tavern, the West Fourth space housed Ivy League-themed cocktail bar Academia from Russell Davis of the Spike TV show Bar Rescue, which opened in 2017 and closed in 2019. Before that, it was Pate’s island-inspired tiki-ish restaurant and bar Isla. Earlier, it had been Caribbean restaurant and bar Pleasant Storage Room.

Texas Tavern’s hours are from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday. It will add weekend brunch sometime in the near future.

Texas Tavern

208 West 4th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 Visit Website