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A Clubby Church-Themed Bar Is Opening in Downtown Austin

Higher Ground will arrive on Congress Ave sporting gothic-inspired design and cocktails named for the seven deadly sins

A person twisting an orange peel above a cocktail with the words Coming Attractions written on top of it four times.
New downtown Austin bar Higher Ground will serve cocktails named after the seven deadly sins
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

A new religious-themed bar and restaurant, Higher Ground, is opening in downtown Austin this summer. It’ll open at 720 Congress Avenue — across from the Paramount Theatre — in July.

Higher Ground will serve a menu of Italian small plates along with cocktails. That means items like a porchetta sandwich; a Caesar salad with frisee, fennel, bacon, and pear; and croquettes. The menu comes from chef Chris Galluccio, who worked at two Michelin-starred restaurants in New York: Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Gramercy Tavern.

To drink, there will be cocktails named after the seven deadly sins listed in the Bible (“Gluttony” has vodka, heavy cream, coffee-infused sugar, Licor 43, and nutmeg), as well as beer and wine. The cocktails were created by Steven Delgado, who worked at essential cocktail bar Whisler’s and Rainey Street bar and club Reina.

The decor completes the religious theme, with elements including pews from a West Texas church, stained glass window panels, an organ-turned-DJ-booth, and an altar from a Victorian home. The second floor has an ivy-adorned outdoor space.

Previously, the Whisler’s team was going to open a bar (perhaps with a pop-punk theme) at this address. However, Higher Ground’s parent company Higher Hospitality took over the lease during the pandemic (Paolo Soriano, one of the partners of Higher Hospitality, is also the co-founder of Reina).

Higher Ground will be open Monday through Wednesday from 4 p.m. to midnight; Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday from 2 p.m. to midnight.

Higher Ground

720 Congress Avenue, , TX 78701 (512) 291-2060 Visit Website