A new bar is opening in Central East Austin this week. Skinny’s Off Track will debut on 1806 East 12th Street starting on Friday, October 14.
The bar will serve a lot of beer and whiskeys, as well as cocktails like pina Coladas, mint juleps, and the Orange Cooler drink made with Sunkist soda, along with other beverages. There’s an on-site food truck called Off Track Bites, which will serve a comfort food menu. Expect Italian bee sandwiches, potato cones, and mini-corn dogs. The bar will offer a weekly-changing $12 Daily Trifecta special, which comes with a beer, a shot, and a dish.
The bar comes from the NoCo Hospitality group, which also operates the downtown bar Higher Ground and the forthcoming unnamed South Austin nightclub. Its partners include Hotel Vegas/Volstead/LoLo co-owner Charles Ferraro and Higher Ground/Reina’s Paolo Soriano.
Skinny’s is meant to feel like an off-track betting parlor, which was popular in the 1970s in New York City. Despite the name, the bar does not offer betting. “Off-track betting venues are amazing places that are reminiscent of another time and place in America,” Ferraro writes to Eater over email. “A little seedy and a little strange, a fitting reference for this spot.” There are vintage decor details and furniture, along with wood-paneled walls.
The space will feature televisions airing whatever sports games are on at the time. There are three booths with personal televisions. There are plans to host events and watch parties for football games, World Cup, and the Kentucky Derby. It will air the Longhorns game against Iowa State on Saturday, October 15.
Skinny’s hours start at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. Saturday through Sunday.
Skinny’s is taking over Cajun restaurant Big Easy Bar and Grill, which was damaged severely in a fire in April 2020. The restaurant didn’t reopen, but it did open a food truck at nearby bar King Bee several doors down in May. The original truck along Barton Springs Road remains open too.
Other bars along East 12th include King Bee (the original owners sold the bar to Los Angeles-based hospitality group Pouring With Heart in February 2020, who reopened it in April 2021), skeeball and beer bar Full Circle, and Outer Heaven Disco Club.