The long-awaited tiki bar from the Ramen Tatsu-ya group, Tiki Tatsu-ya, has finally announced its opening date. Tiki Tatsu-ya will open at 1300 South Lamar Boulevard on Monday, October 4.
Tiki Tatsu-ya will serve tiki cocktails and Japanese and Polynesian food. Food-wise, there will be dishes like a pupu platter with barbecue beef sticks, mochiko wings, crab Rangoon, taro tots, Yokozuna pork ribs, served with passionfruit barbecue sauce, and Spam on the half shell with house-made Spam.
Drinks-wise, there are tropical cocktails and large-format options. Classic cocktails on the menu include a painkiller and a mai tai, and the sharable options, which serve between two to eight people, include the Skeleton Cruise, which has Japanese whisky, rum, Chartreuse, guava, lemon, pineapple, and pomegranate, served in a skull-bedazzled ship. The drinks come in custom-created glassware and are available for purchase.
Behind Tiki Tatsu-ya are Tatsu Aikawa and Shion Aikawa, who want the bar to embody “the deep melding of Hawaiian, Polynesian, and Asian influences,” based on their tiki research according to the press release. The drinks program is led by Cory Starr (previously of Chicago tiki bar Three Dots and a Dash) alongside Tatsu-Ya beverage director Michael Phillips and Tatsu-Ya sake sommelier Bryan Masamitsu Parsons.
The space, which was previously cocktail bar Backbeat and next door to the South Lamar Ramen Tatsu-ya, has been transformed into a combination ship and tropical getaway. Downstairs, there are wooden porthole doors, a two-story Shisa Dragon rock fountain, and a rock wall adorned with fishing nets and floats. The upstairs bar has sunset tones and a large art piece depicting the journey of the Japanese pearl diver.
Tiki Tatsu-ya was announced in 2018 and was named one of the best bars in Austin by Austin Monthly in 2019 — well before opening. The Tatsu-ya family also includes four locations of Ramen Tatsu-ya (in North Austin, South Austin, East Austin, and Houston), hot pot restaurant DipDipDip Tatsu-ya (which won Eater Austin’s Restaurant of the Year in 2019), izakaya/roadhouse Kemuri Tatsu-ya (which won in 2017), and Japanese curry bar Domo Alley-Gato.
Despite its opening day being on a Monday, Tiki Tatsu-ya’s subsequent days of operations will be open Wednesday through Sunday. It will offer beverage service beginning at 4 p.m. and food from 5 to 10 p.m., except for Sundays when it will be open for drinks only from 2 to 10 p.m. Reservations are recommended.