A new supper club restaurant and bar is coming to downtown Austin. The Statesman will be found at 710 West Sixth Street, Suite B starting on Friday, January 19, 2024.
Statesman’s food menu is a classic American and Texan one. This means dishes and items like seafood towers, tuna tartare, crab cakes, Parker House rolls with garlic-chile butter, hasselback potatoes, and pimento mac and cheese. Then there are house-made pastas such as cacio e pepe and tagliatelle with roasted mushrooms. Larger entrees will include the chicken with both a chicken thigh served up parmesan-style and then a chicken roasted chicken breast with jus; as well as whole red snapper, rib-eyes and other such steaks. Desserts span items like cheesecakes and key lime pie.
Executive chef Dan Kennedy is leading Statesman’s kitchen. He had most recently been at Goan-Portuguese hotel restaurant Vixen’s Wedding (which closed in November). Before that, he worked at Los Angeles dine-dining French restaurant Trois Mec and now-shuttered Philadelphia fine-dining restaurant Avance among others.
The cocktails also leans towards the classics with the restaurant’s own takes. Expect an Old Fashioned made with tequila; the S.S. Margarita with ghost peppers; and the Business Class, a take on the Paper Plane but with apricot liqueur. The drinks menu was developed by Bill Norris, a noted Austin cocktail person who now runs his own drinks-focused consulting company 3rd Generation Hospitality. He had previously worked at Midnight Cowboy, Alamo Drafthouse, and Fino.
Statesman’s physical space will feel and look old-school, with wood panels, leather booths, a brass bar, a lobby pit with television screens, a patio, and private dining room. There will be a 20-foot art piece series with cooper details by artist Michael Kalish featuring different ways of toasting with drinks. Another notable feature will be the Champagne button, where, when pressed, will alert a server to bring over Champagne.
Owner Craig Ley selected the name Statesman not for of the newspaper, but because it “evokes those who came before us in service of the community,” as he tells Eater via email. For him, he wants the restaurant to become a home base for diners.
Ley is also the founder of restaurant group Eat, Drink Live. The company had included Irish pub chain Rock & Reilly’s, which he started in Los Angeles in 2011. It expanded with several locations across the country, but then he sold it. Now Statesman is the company’s sole restaurant.
When Statesman, opens, it’ll start off with dinner services daily. It’ll expand into weekend brunch starting on Saturday, January 27.