With its noise-proof brick walls, tropical greenery, potent punches, and Cuban-inspired street food, Pleasant Storage Room offers a reprieve from the bustle of downtown. And bar manager Alfonso Hernandez is stoked about the rising temperatures. “Rum is a flavor associated with summer. It’s from a region that knows hot weather,” says Hernandez, a longtime lover of the spirit. Since its official opening in late April, the once well-kept-secret rum joint on 4th Street has acquired a growing fan base serious about their rum. “In the past 10 years, there’s definitely been a resurgence of craft cocktails,” he says. As a result, classic recipes are being revisited. “Rum played a big part in early-20th-century cocktails. During Prohibition, there was an influx of Americans traveling south to Cuba to set up their own bars.” Hernandez’s inspiration to open a rum-centric bar stemmed from his interest in the rum culture. “The bars in the Caribbean are a place to get away. We wanted the same thing, a space that was comfortable,” Hernandez says. Stop by for the Perfect Mai Tai (recipe follows, combine all ingredients over ice in your favorite tiki glass), and we predict you’ll have no trouble settling into vacation mode.
As a Texas native, fashion stylist and assistant manager at Moss Designer Consignment, Mallory Hublein knows how to keep it fresh during the sweltering summers. Hublein’s style channels both casual-cool and a spunky rock ’n’ roll vibe. Having styled shoots for local bands like Little Radar and editorially (Chrome Magazine), Hublein has had her hands in both women’s and men’s fashion.
Cesar Aguilar saw possibility in the formerly vacant room above Whislers, the bar he owns with Scranton Twohey. Last December, Aguilar approached his partner and said, “Let me do a mezcal bar.” Aguilar’s initial experience with mezcal came from curating the bar menu for his previous employer, La Condesa. After accompanying the guys from Wahaka Mezcal on several trips to Oaxaca (where the majority of mezcal originates), and even taking part in a traditional Oaxacan sweat lodge ceremony, Aguilar felt moved to play a larger role in the mezcal movement. With Twohey’s experience and Aguilar’s passion, Mezcalería Tobalá was born.
Echoing the style of small bars in Oaxaca, the design is intentionally raw and rustic. Aguilar hopes guests to feel like they’ve stepped into “an old man’s living room.” Ascend the staircase outside of Whislers and push open the unmarked door to Tobalá. The room is dimly lit and Billie Holiday is on the record player. Squeeze in between the canoodling older couple and the group of twentysomethings at the 1950s standing bar and order a copita of mezcal with a side of orange slices sprinkled with sal de gusano (a mix of dried chiles, spices, Oaxacan salt, and ground larvae). The orange is refreshing, but something in the “worm salt” makes consumers thirsty, resulting in a need for more mezcal. Aguilar will gladly educate you with a rare selection of Espadin and wild mezcals found behind him in a 1940s Mexican cupboard including Tobalá Mezcal, distilled from the rare agave for which Aguilar’s bar was named.
This season, we’re lounging on the patio in the Little Albert Chair by Moroso ($628, Urbanspace Interiors). Not only is this eye-catching armchair weather resistant, it’s a work of contemporary art. Designed by Ron Arad, the chair was inspired by a piece in Arad’s upholstered series that paid tribute to his exhibition in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
by Joanna Steblay
As the warm weather begins to set in and patio parties hit our calendars, we can’t help but embrace that summertime has returned to Austin. If you’re anything like us, you’ll be celebrating the return of the season with decadent ice cream, healthy smoothies and icy cocktails from your favorite local spots.
For those days when it’s too hot to venture out, we went to Austin’s sweet treat professionals and compiled the ultimate collection of DIY recipes to make from your home. Click through the galleries below to learn how to make everything icy and sweet, from poptails for date night to ice cream sandwiches for a dinner party.more
The spring edition of the Renegade Craft Fair returns for its seventh year in Austin May 14-15 at Fair Market. With over 125 makers on the roster, the scene is sure to be bustling with local artisans and DIYers slinging their unique, one-of-a-kind wares. In addition to great shopping, the RCF offers activities, special showcases and plenty of food and drink options for visitors. This year, celebrate your hard work shopping with a snack from Burro Cheese Kitchen and Lucky Lab Coffee Co. before commemorating the afternoon with some snapshots from Magnolia Photo Booth Co. But before...more
by James Ruiz
Inspired by the beautiful outdoor living spaces featured in our May feature The Space Between, we went window shopping and found some great outdoor furniture and accessories to liven up your outdoor patio, porch and pool. Flip through the galleries below to see how you can add a pop of color and style to your outdoor hideaway.more
Hundreds of people are moving to Austin each day, and downtown is one of the major hubs of growth for the city. Local real estate expert Jude Galligan discusses smart urban growth and what to expect this year as the skyline continues to evolve.
Your blog keeps Austin updated on the latest news in downtown. What is the most exciting development happening right now?
From my point of view, the most exciting development is the Waller Creek District Master Plan. Decades in the making, this transformative project came to life after designers competed for the contract. It is finally coming to downtown, bringing an imaginative chain of parks,...more
by James Ruiz
As you flip through the pages of our February Love Issue, one thing you’ll notice is the beautiful blooms that pop up throughout the magazine. We got some major googly eyes for the bouquets featured in our "Real Weddings" features, and earmarked the TRIBEZA Wedding Guide for even more Pinterest-worthy petals.
Instead of letting all that inspiration go to waste, we tried our hand at flower arranging to see what we could create. Since we consider ourselves floral design novices, we asked a few top designers...more