Nationally renown Austin bar spills news on big Houston expansion


It’s attainable that back again in 2020, no one particular informed Nickel City operator Travis Tober about the pandemic: At minimum, it does not feel to have slowed him down.

The pressure guiding the commemorated East Austin watering hole not only expanded into Fort Truly worth in January 2021, but also opened a new principle, Outdated Pal Texas Tavern, just months afterwards in Lockhart’s Historic Downtown Sq.. This 12 months, he co-established Lockhart’s Very best Minimal Wine & Guides — and it seems he’s just acquiring commenced, asserting a new Nickel City coming to Houston early following yr.

Projected to open up in early 2023, the 3rd place will convert 3,200 square feet of a 1940’s warehouse with an interesting brick facade at 2910 McKinney St. Co-proprietor Craig Primozich will oversee style and design and construction, selecting Houston-dependent interior structure crew Lizzy Bufton and Stephanie Russel of Taft Studio to tutorial the venture.

Hailing from Buffalo, New York, Tober strategies to deliver the familiar “Rust Belt Chic” aesthetic to the Houston outpost, together with the “bar inside of a bar” concept introduced in the Fort Worth location’s not-so-key mezcal bar, Bar Bagazo. Like the Fort Well worth mezcaleria, the Houston strategy will feature a single spirit aim, with a patio bar centered on rum.

Nationally acclaimed and domestically beloved in equally Austin and Fort Value, the unique Austin location opened in 2017 in the previous home of the Longbranch Inn, swiftly getting to be one of the major bar courses in the country with a slew of accolades, including Esquire’s “Best Bars in The usa.”

In an special sneak peek for CultureMap, Tober answered five quick-hearth queries about a bar that’s specified to entice plenty of consideration when it debuts down the avenue from Little Champions. 

CultureMap: Why did you decide on Houston as your future Texas outpost?

Travis Tober: To me, Houston is the very best foods city in the U.S. It is the greatest city in Texas and prime 4 in the United States. It’s kind of like New York in that if you can make it there, you can make it any place. And it is these a numerous city, it’s a 24-hour metropolis, so we’re seriously thrilled about bringing a new Nickel Metropolis there.

CM: What’s the identical and what is distinct about each individual location?

TT: So in Austin, we have our money-only bar, which raises revenue for charity. We like to element touring bartenders there about once or twice a month, and it all goes to charity. In Fort Worth, we wanted to be the premier agave spirit bar in the space, which we completed with more than 250 SKUs of agave spirit. That bar itself was dependent on once-a-year pop-ups we had been doing in Guadalajara, so we wanted to replicate that city in that again space in Bar Bagazo. For Houston, we realized patios ended up our shortcomings, and persons definitely enjoy the outdoors there no matter if it is a gazillion levels or not.

CM: Why rum?

TT: Houston is regarded as a major rum city: It is a single of the leading towns in the United States for consumers of rum, so we preferred to do some thing a small much more lighthearted with tropical trip vibes — not tiki, but far more tropical.

CM: What held you going all through the pandemic with all these new ideas?

TT: With bars, it can be a bit simpler to redevelop and pivot, and it’s that notion that when things will get more durable, the difficult get heading, and the pandemic allowed us to see in which our shortcomings had been so that we could choose what to do otherwise and what to improve. We redid our patios at equally Nickels for the duration of the pandemic, and we’re psyched to introduce an even even larger patio in Houston for that identical purpose.

CM: Final concern: What are you ingesting nowadays?

TT: I am in Chicago researching rum bars and sourcing machines for the Houston strategy, so I’m consuming daiquiris.


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