Seven Big, one of the best whiskey obsessed cocktail bars in Los Angeles, makes its way into Austin with an expansion in Texas on 7th Street East. There’s no set opening date yet, but expect it to debut very soon.
Update, June 12: Seven Grand is now open every day from 5 p.m. to closing.
The main focus of Seven is whiskey, from bottles to basic cocktails. Its goal is to “make whiskey accessible and affordable,” said Steve White, managing director of the bar’s parent company, 213 Hospitality. The list will include many Texas distilleries, including Balcones Distilling and Garrison Brothers Distillery.
Five classic whiskey drinks form the backbone of the bar’s cocktail list: old fashioned, sazerac, rye manhattan, whiskey sour and mint julep. Andrew Abrahamson, chief operating officer of 213, calls these drinks “the cocktails that built Seven Grand.”
“Whiskey only and the classic way,” is how Assistant Bar Manager Jeramy Campbell describes the menu at Seven Grand. Previously he was Juliet’s Beverage Manager and also spent time at Geraldine’s and Jackalope at the Van Zandt Hotel. In addition to the basic cocktails, there will be “soft derivatives” of other drinks, but nothing too intense.
Campbell enjoyed the new position because he loves whiskey and wants to put the emphasis back on it. “With the whole craft cocktail scene, we’ve gone a little too far in many ways, and [Seven Grand] bring him back, ”he explained. “Keep your classics. “
Abrahamson considers the Seven Grand “a true Irish pub, not in the modern American sense of being more of a sports bar”. Rather, he compares it to Dublin bars where “people pick up instruments and start playing”. It’s “part of the room, part of the mood,” he explained.
The space takes on a woody vibe, with dark browns and greens, a rough brick wall, a welcoming camping diorama, horse lamps and lights, and taxidermy animal heads mounted on the wall. The bar is divided into two sections, the main bar and then the pool table area. The new bar will feature an Austin outpost of its Whiskey Society, where patrons can participate in whiskey tastings with master distillers and brand ambassadors.
Because this is Austin we’re talking about, there’s a back patio with its own dedicated bar offering a relatively smaller whiskey list and community tables. Food is not part of the plans, but outdoor food is encouraged. For other drinks, there are Texan beers and only one option of red and white wine.
213 Hospitality already has a foot in Austin’s door with Half Step, the famous Rainey Street cocktail bar of Chris Bostick, himself a former 213er (he was general manager of must-see bar in LA The Varnish before returning to Austin).
Before Seven Grand came onto the scene, the 7th Street address’s past lives included Black & Tan Dance Club, Rusty’s Austin, Transform, and Buffalo Club. 213 Hospitality also represents other bars and restaurants in Los Angeles, as well as a Seven Grand property in San Diego.
Across the highway from Seven Grand is Via 313 whiskey bar, Nickel City, which will focus on the brown spirit, as well as a Detroit food truck (although no pizza is planned).