Increasingly, to find those little nuggets of Austin charm, one has to look outside the glitz of downtown. South Austin has the recently opened Sagebrush, a sprawling music venue and bar that has picnic tables in place of Swedish furniture and ice cold beers in place of handmade cocktails (though you can get these too). Meanwhile, North Austin’s best restaurants are increasingly popping up in North Shoal Creek, North Burnet, and the suburbs. And East Austin still has little pubs and taquerias untouched by stag and hen parties on pedal-powered pub crawls.
The newest place to join this club is Armadillo Den, a new two story bar and outdoor venue now open at 10106 Menchaca Rd. The three hectare property is partly a neighborhood bar, partly a dog park, partly a music bar with a food truck and finally also a child-friendly part.
“The three acres of land that Armadillo Den occupies contains essential elements that this city treasures – live music, cold beers, local food trucks, an upcoming off-leash dog area, indoor and outdoor relaxation options, and large oak trees to relax in . “notes a press release.
A two-story bar spanning over 8,000 square meters where guests can order from more than 18 draft beers, sip from a full bar selection, or enjoy four rotating draft mocktails. The indoor / outdoor area is divided by glass walls so customers can stay cool on steamy summer days or the breeze can flow when it’s more temperate.
On the upper floor, a possible all-round deck will be equipped with 14 televisions for game days or first-class seats during concerts.
Outside there are picnic tables on the huge lawn, and customers can order dishes from two of the on-site food trucks: Pueblo Viejo, an east side favorite that serves Tex-Mex and tacos, or Ranch Hand, whose healthy, locally-focused ethos is summed up perfectly in his slogan “Order as if there was a tomorrow”.
Eventually, the space will include an off-leash dog park, outdoor games, and satellite bars. From next spring, after the open-air stage is over, the outdoor area will also be child-friendly. And another advantage? On-site parking is available, but Armadillo Den will get a 10 percent discount on orders for those who can show they are using a hail service instead.
The newly opened concept has been around for more than four years and is a labor of love for longtime bar veterans Rick McMinn, Josh Hazzard and Brett Berry from Austin, who now work together under the Manchaca Entertainment Group.
“Our common goal was to make this project a great place for employees and customers. With a focus on speed and hospitality, we built this two-story building from the ground up, giving the local craftsmen plenty of freedom to have fun in the space” said Armadillo Den partner Berry in a press release.
“You will notice something new every time you visit. From our artistic performance made of long-leaved pine scraps to our bowling alley tables on curved T-posts to our massive pecan tree live edge bar on the ground floor, there is really a lot of thought and professional work in this room, and we can’t wait to to share it with Austin. ”
Armadillo Den’s thoughtful nod to Austin’s musical past can be found in the old concert posters on the walls and even in the screen doors on the upstairs bar that were pulled out of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s childhood home. After opening and running, the partners hope to have live music seven nights a week.
“Musicians of various genres will be able to enter the second floor and entertain interested scooters on the beautiful wooden floors with initially limited capacity. In the spring, larger shows and artists will be performing on the open-air stage.” 2021 “notes a publication.
During this time of the pandemic, the bar opens to a limited capacity and has installed heaters and fire pits to keep people comfortable outdoors. Masks are required when away from your table, and Armadillo Den asks guests to be sure to wash their hands and keep their distance while in the room.
Armadillo Den is now open Monday through Thursday from 4pm to 2am, and Friday through Sunday from 12pm to 2am. By the time this open-air stage is completed in spring 2021, it will initially be 21 plus.