A new cocktail spot has landed on the Sixth Street strip, just across the street from Easy Tiger.
The historic building that houses the new bar at 708 E. Sixth, named The Gatsby, has been vacant for years, outside of hosting events during several SXSW festivals.
Bar Manager Scott Cook said he and his team had their eyes set on the space for some time, and when it became available, securing it for their bar concept was a no-brainer. The name Gatsby is indeed a nod to the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby, which was published during one of the peak times for cocktail consumption in America.
"It was kind of a coincidence that the Gatsby movie came out right around the time we were opening," Cook said. "Gatsby was the concept from the beginning, and when we found this building, we knew it would be the right place."
Marketing Director Chuck Taylor said he and friend Josh Eaton, along with Cook, moved from Dallas to open a place where people could get good cocktails without the pretension that some DFW cocktail bars ooze. "We want to bring two cultures together, people who want to go to a bar and have a drink and hang out with their friends, and those who want to get a really good craft cocktail."
Right now, Gatsby is currently in the "soft open" phase, with the grand opening projected for later this Fall, when current construction will be complete. Until then, you can pop in for a drink to check out what the future promises.
The crew enlisted Darren Makowsky, formerly of the Tavern and Second Bar + Kitchen (who recently left his post to work for Republic distributing) to help compose the cocktail menu, which features mostly modern drinks and spins on classics with names inspired from Fitzgerald’s classic book.
I tasted through a sampling of the drinks that will be on the debut menu. While they all landed on the sweeter end of the spectrum, their flavor combinations are in the right place, and with some tweaking as their soft open continues, I bet they will find a better balance flavor-wise. My favorite off the bat was the Drop O’Daisy, which features Buffalo Trace, Clement Creole Shrub, lemon juice and simple syrup. It’s a soft, cooling whiskey cocktail served on ice. Cook said so far, it’s one of the best-sellers.
Outside of cocktails, a selection of canned beer is currently available, and as construction continues, a 10-tap draught system will be installed as well. Right now, they are open every day from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.