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A Vegan Pub Is Taking Over the Former Hard Luck Lounge Space in East Austin

Sunny’s Backyard brings portobello sticks and bulgogi tacos to Govalle this May

The vegan burger from Sunny’s Backyard
The vegan burger from Sunny’s Backyard
Sunny’s Backyard/Facebook
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

New vegan pub Sunny’s Backyard is opening in East Austin this spring. It is taking over the spot at 3526 East Seventh Street in Govalle (which was formerly Hard Luck Lounge) starting on Thursday, May 20.

Sunny’s serves vegan comfort food alongside beer and cocktails. On the food menu, expect items like burgers and wraps, pub pretzels, bulgogi tacos, and portobello sticks.

Sunny’s comes from co-owners and wife and husband team Charrissa and Merritt Vaughn, who both previously worked at and operated vegan bar Beelman’s in downtown Los Angeles. Sunny’s is named after their rescue terrier (an outdoor bar at Sunny’s is called Huey’s Corner after the couple’s other dog). The large outdoor patio is obviously be dog-friendly. They planned extensive renovations to the space.

Before opening the bar, the couple operated Sunny’s as a food truck in the space since March.

The vegan pub is a pretty hard pivot for the East Seventh Street space, which was previously home to Hard Luck Lounge, a dive bar that closed in 2019 due to the neighborhood changing (a change that, ostensibly, allows for new spots like Sunny’s). At the time, co-owner Denis O’Donnell infamously told the Chronicle the bar was closing because “I’m not going to sell you $10 cocktails — I don’t know how to do that, and I don’t want to do that.”

Sunny’s will serve food to-go and allow for in-person dining. The Vaughns are also planning to host live music after COVID-19 restrictions lift.

Hours are from 5 p.m. to midnight, with food served until 10 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.

Update, May 19, 2:24 p.m.: This article, originally published on February 3, has been updated to reflect Sunny’s opening date.

Sunny's Backyard

3526 East 7th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 520-5760 Visit Website