Rainey Street’s newest bungalow bar, the Alibi, wants to be the reason you’re not somewhere else by offering draft beer, porch swings, mural art, an Asian fusion food truck and 12 HD screens. It’s now softly open at 96 Rainey St.
The bar’s two co-founders, Sean Fric and Jason Steward — who together own the Golden Goose on South Lamar Boulevard and separately own a handful of other watering holes in town — took over the former Bar 96 space from Bridget Dunlap following its abrupt closure in July.
"We thought it would be a good fit for the street," Steward said of the Alibi’s concept. "We want to be your place to be for everything, whether you’re watching sports on our 12 screens or listening to live music or DJs. If you want to see the game or come here for live music or hear the DJs later in the night, we're going to have all of it."
He said the Alibi doesn’t quite have cocktails yet, but a menu of fall drinks will be established by the time of the grand opening in a few weeks. In the meantime, enjoy a variety of spirits and both draft and packaged beer, about 10 of each, he said. The beers are primarily from local breweries.
The bungalow where the Alibi is housed received a facelift in the two months since Bar 96’s shuttering and now has mural art, and a wraparound porch and multiple outdoor seating areas means you’ll probably spend a lot of your time at the bar outside.
There’s also an Asian fusion food truck called Belly Up in the yard, Steward said, serving up dishes like rice bowls and slow-braised pork belly with avocado curry mayo.
Steward also owns the Bungalow a couple doors down from the Alibi — which is how the opportunity to take over the space came up, he said — as well as the retro-inspired Kitty Cohen’s on Webberville Road. Fric is the proprietor of J. Black’s and two upcoming restaurants, TLC in the Lamar Union development and Colleen’s Kitchen in Mueller.
Both together and separately, Fric and Steward are establishing a bit of a nightlife empire in Austin.
"We feel very fortunate to be able to do this," Steward said. "We opened Eddie V's 17 years ago, the original one on Fifth Street, and have been working together off and on ever since then."
The Alibi is open 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays-Fridays and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, visit facebook.com/thealibiaustin.