Picture this. You’re walking eastward on 6th Street in the midst of Friday night madness. People shouting drink specials. Pounding house music. The street is thick with UT kids and tourists. In desperation, you consider the 15 minute hike to East 6th for respite.
But imagine if there was a chilled out craft beer pub in the dark space between Red River and Route 35. A place with a relaxed vibe, quality beer and spirits and a yummy food menu.
Well, go ahead and open your eyes. Waller Creek Pub House, nestled on Sabine between 6th and 7th, will become your new favorite spot and a safe haven from the downtown hustle.
5 Years in the Making
When the idea for Waller Creek Pub House was originally formed, managing partner Justin Malone and his team of partners were aiming for a location on Austin’s east side. But when the space on Sabine became available, a grander idea was hatched: turn the sleepy section of Austin’s most famous street into a legitimate entertainment district.
Together with neighboring Waller Ballroom, this new watering hole is designed to do just that. While the bar is currently in their soft opening, tons of improvements are planned for this year. They include outdoor seating, the potential for live music and spiffed up décor.
But being the new kid on the block doesn’t mean trampling the status quo. In fact, Waller Creek Pub House aims to compliment spots like Gatsby and Easy Tiger in hopes of creating a vibrant, collaborative community. Currently, the area is downtown’s Mos Eisley, a place where people pass through but don’t stay. The goal of the Waller Creek team is to change that.
Beer and Booze Done Right
The highlight of the Waller Creek Pub House experience is their impressive beer selection. With 30 taps on the wall, the bar has a brew for every taste. The choices rotate constantly as well, meaning you’ll always find something new to try. Beer geeks rejoice!
Just don’t expect Lone Star and margaritas. Unlike the majority of Dirty 6th, Waller Creek steers clear of macro brews and mixed cocktails in favor of craft beer and standalone sprits. According to bar manager James Horton, the liquor focus will be on whiskeys and scotches, drinks that can stand on their own without mixers. A nice departure from the $2 “you call its” usually found in the area.
Elevated Pub Food
Waller Creek Pub House also offers a simple yet delicious food menu. From a world class Reuben to four types of fries (regular, Greek, Asian, Italian), the options are classic pub with an upturned pinky.
You should also expect a focus on freshness. According to kitchen manager Sonny Peña, nearly everything on the menu, from the salad dressing to the Reuben’s corned beef, is made in house. The result is food that’s a cut above your usual pub fare.
During my last visit, my food choice was the T.A.B.L.E. sandwich, a jazzed up take on the classic B.L.T. Featuring a generous helping of avocado and a savory sunny side up egg, the first bite screams freshness. The egg is an inspired choice, giving the sandwich a subtle creaminess which works well with the crisp bacon. A perfect complement to my Nebraska Black Betty stout.
A Place for Friends to Meet
The overall vibe of Waller Creek Pub House is one of laid back fun. Cool music plays on vintage 70’s era speakers while the long, inviting bar top begs for conversation. When asked what the vibe of the pub should be, Malone’s answer was easy. He wanted to create a space where he and his friends would want to hang out.
Consider the challenge met and conquered. The next time you’re fleeing 6th St in search of someplace warm, inviting and devoted to quality, be sure to swing by Waller Creek Pub House for a brew and a bite. Just don’t be surprised if you give up your eastward trek and spend the rest of your evening there. A fine place for friends to meet, greet and have a great time.
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
Where do you go for a laid back, chilled out pint?
Disclosure: Waller Creek Pub House comped my sandwich and beer during my recent visit. All opinions are my own.