Get a room: Treaty Oak debuts its new tasting room on Dec. 14
We should be seeing some long-awaited openings within the coming week. Second generation Austin chef/restaurateur Bryce Gilmore says that if all goes smoothly with the final city inspections, he should have the certificate of occupancy for Odd Duck (1201 S. Lamar) in hand this week. He's shooting for a friends-and-family soft opening over the weekend and hopes to begin dinner service next week at the new 120-seat eatery named for the trailer where he first shot to recognition. The new Odd Duck comes equipped with a wood-fired oven and the wood-fired grill from the original trailer, plus a full bar and plenty of outside seating. Gilmore plans to start with dinner service in December and add lunch after the first of the year. He's also considering late-night bar and kitchen hours, if there is demand for those. Look for Odd Duck to feature the same seasonal, farmers' market- driven menu flexibility that helped Gilmore make his name locally, although he's also talking about fewer small plate options and the possibility of serving some family-style entrées. Suffice it to say, expect a crowd in there to check out what Gilmore and his team put on the table.
Local spirits aficionados have been eagerly awaiting the opening of the new Treaty Oak Distilling Co. tasting room (2314 Rutland #225) since Tipsy Texan David Alan mentioned it in our Drink, Drank, Drunk issue ("His Cup Runneth Over," July 5). As you may recall, a distilling facility that can both serve drinks and sell packaged spirits is newly legal in Texas this year after the passage of Senate Bill 905 in the spring legislative session. Treaty Oak founder Daniel Barnes tells us the new tasting room will be open to the public on Saturdays starting Dec. 14, offering hourly educational tours of the distillery, small tasting flights of three spirits, plus the choice of a drink from the in-house cocktail menu developed by their "mad cocktail genius" Matt Moody, all for the admission price of $10. Additional flights and cocktails will be available for $6 each. Barnes says the facility has three bars and will offer both inside and outside seating, a retail shop selling bottles of Treaty Oak spirits and souvenir items, and that there will be popular food trucks in close proximity. Look for cocktail and spirit education classes by David Alan to be added to the roster there in the coming year. Barnes also disclosed that their long-term plans for a 25-acre rural distillery complete with an event facility, beekeeping, and some farmed acreage are still very much in the works.
Central East Austin will be foodie ground zero for the next few months: JuiceLand East (2601 E. Cesar Chavez) is now open with a walk-up juice bar and commissary facility in the old Good Flow plant. La Barbecue takes up residence at East Sixth and Waller this week, and we're told LaV is closing up its trailer at the Volstead and should be ready to open soon in its new building on East Seventh, with the Hightower and the Silo on Seventh following suit. No definite word yet on specific East Austin locations for Jodi Elliott's upcoming Bribery or the Launderette project from chef pals Laura Sawicki and Rene Ortiz, but rumors are running rampant.