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Style Pick | Whisler's

Scranton Twohey, a longtime alum of the local cocktail scene, opens a whimsical watering hole in a beloved Austin spot.

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From his bartender days at Crown & Anchor Pub and Uchi to his involvement in opening several bars on Rainey Street, Scranton Twohey has been preparing himself for his newest role as bar owner for quite some time. This spring, the East Austin resident, who turns 44-years-old this month, opened Whisler’s, his shotgun-style, craft cocktail bar in a World War I–era building near fellow Uchi alum Paul Qui’s new restaurant, Qui, on East Sixth Street. “It reminded me of New Orleans, and I grew up in New Orleans,” Twohey says about the space. “All of these builders from Houston, California and Dallas are coming in. I really wanted to be a part of the growth, but I wanted to keep the feel of space that I was taking over.”

After a six-month sabbatical last year to spend time with his wife and two sons and about four months working on the deal for the building, Twohey began refining the space for his bar, which has a main section, a side bar, and outside seating. A large chandelier and a rusted metal sign with the name of the bar hang in the main section, and bar chairs in the space are wrapped in vintage mailbags that Twohey found in Round Top. A recent Whisler's menu included a tribute to ’90s rap song “Gin and Juice,” a house-infused chai bourbon drink called Sweet Chai O’Mine and the San Franpsycho, a mixture of fernet, Luxardo amaretto, lemon juice, agave nectar and a pilsner float. Twohey says he plans to use the bar space for various pop-up events as well as have a food trailer onsite.

“There are quite a few people I battled out for this place,” says Twohey, who moved to Austin in 1991. “And I know a lot of people in the past years have wanted this place. And somehow I came into having it.” Signs for Whisler’s, at the corner of Sixth and Chicon streets, have been kept to a minimum, and Twohey won’t say how he came up with the name for his bar. That’s part of the mystery, he says. The building, however, has a long, rich history and recently was the no-frills beer stop Rabbit’s Lounge. Twohey says over the years, the space also was a masonry shop, a pizza restaurant, a barber shop, a dry cleaners and a duplex. Twohey’s hope is that Whisler's offers a changing menu of libations for Austin’s growing food and cocktail scene. “It’s down-to-earth kind of chill people who are looking for a non-pretentious place to have a really great cocktail,” he says. “That was the whole goal.”

@whislersatx

1816 E. Sixth St.
Austin, TX 78702

Credits

Photography by Evan Prince

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