The ethos of RSRV (pronounced “reserve”) is “prestigious but not pretentious,” as co-owner Jeremy Hills tells Eater. He and co-owners Ricky Soto and Antonio Guevara see the wine bar as their way of creating “an inviting wine bar. How do we build community around one of the more pivotal pieces to storytelling, which is really good wine? It’s like they say, ‘Every bottle is a story.’” He adds: “How do we make this Austin’s version of a small Great Gatsby?”
RSRV will offer glasses and bottles of wine, with Old and New World options. Hills also says the bar will offer low- and non-alcoholic options, as well as beers. For food, there will be a small menu with snacks and bites, charcuterie boards, and cheese plates.
The trio have been working on the designs and renovations of the space themselves. There will be indoor and outdoor areas enclosed by a tall copper fence. The building — formerly a gas station — will feature garage doors that can open during nice weather days. They even sourced a vintage gas pump to work as a tap for wine. The outdoor space includes a centerpiece chandelier. They’re looking into installing Moët & Chandon’s Champagne bottle vending machines. There are plans to host live music.
The East Austin location was important to the trio because of the history of the neighborhood and the ways it’s been changing. “I think this is going to be a really good attempt by us to try to help bridge that gap between the old and the new around something that is pure as wines have always been,” Hills says.
They all attended the University of Texas at Austin together and have been friends ever since. Soto also runs menswear brand Soto & Co.. Hills owns a fitness club, the Kollective. Soto was the one who came up with the idea, and Hills and Guevara joined him.
After it opens in March, RSRV’s second phase will include an outdoor expansion with more seating and a covered patio. And not to sit still, the three are currently working on raising funds to open a speakeasy bar next door to the space.
Update, January 25: This article, originally published on January 24, has been updated to clarify that Antonio Guevara is also a partner of RSRV.