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Posted: 12:16 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, 2013

Bar Congress team to open 'dive bar' Wonderland in Cheer Up Charlie's space 

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Jason Stevens of Wonderland
Jason Stevens of Wonderland

By Matthew Odam

East Sixth Street bar Cheer Up Charlie’s will close its doors on January 15, making way for a new project from the La Corsha Hospitality Group (Congress, Second Bar + Kitchen and Bar Congress), which is purchasing the property at 1104 East 6th St. Bar Congress partner and entertainment director Scott Walker will open “dive bar” Wonderland with Bar Congress head barman Jason Stevens.

Walker says they will make some minor renovations to the space and plan to open by South by Southwest in March. The bar will serve dive classics like bourbon-and-Coke, approximately eight draft beers and another dozen by the bottle, and will bring over some Bar Congress favorites, such as the Green River (vodka, basil/grapefruit agave, Green Chartreuse and lime).

“We’ll serve quality drinks in a dive bar fashion with a couple of tricks here and there that will keep people happy,” Walker said.

Wonderland, which will be open seven days a week, will host live music and serve food in the back from a trailer concept to be named later. The pending real estate purchase includes the food trailer park at East Sixth and Waller Streets, where La Corsha will eventually build a hotel that will include another bar, a restaurant and a full tiki bar. La Corsha also plans to open a restaurant in 2014 in the new Seaholm development.

In a message on their Facebook page, Cheer Up Charlie’s, which during its three-year run hosted live music and was a stalwart of Austin’s LGBT scene, say they are currently seeking a new space and intend to continue growing.

(This post was updated to clarify that Jack Daniels will not be served at Wonderland.)

Matthew Odam

About Matthew Odam

Matthew Odam is the restaurant critic and reporter at the Austin American-Statesman, where he also covers the local film scene and writes film criticism.

Connect with Matthew Odam on:Twitter

Send Matthew Odam an email.

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