The combination of Austin City Limits Music Festival’s foot traffic and new permanent to-go alcoholic laws mean that Barton Springs Roads restaurants will set up takeout alcoholic stands during the music festival. This includes Italian restaurant Juliet and cidery Austin Eastciders, which set up their stands last weekend and will host them again this weekend from Friday, October 8 through Sunday, October 10.
The city and festival organizers limit or close traffic along Barton Springs Road leading to the gates of the Zilker Park festival. That means a steady stream of people along the road for six days (the festival takes place over two long weekends).
“In years past, we have noticed several people walking down the street with drinks from corner stores and gas stations,” says Justin Rouhier, the general manager of Juliet’s Barton Springs location.
Emily Murphey, the assistant general manager at Austin Eastciders, echoes that sentiment: “There are so many people walking to the festival who are looking for some refreshments before they rush off to their first show.”
And now that takeout alcohol is legal per a permanent law from the state, the restaurants are allowed to sell sealed takeout alcoholic beverages, which offers an extra and much-needed quick revenue stream for these businesses.
Juliet’s offerings include beer cans from Austin brewery Zilker Brewing and Montana beer company Montucky Cold Snacks, wine cans from Washington winery 14 Hands Wine (which is also serving in the festival grounds), and canned tequila-based cocktails from Cazadores. Austin Eastciders’s is selling its entire cider lineup, as well as cocktails and non-alcoholic options.
“Sales were better than expected,” says Rouhier. Murphey notes that “the to-go station provided a nice incremental boost to the business.”
Both stands will operate again during ACL’s second weekend. Juliet’s hours will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday, and then again from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Austin Eastciders’s hours will be from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday.