A very different sort of bar has taken over the underground space that formerly housed Fado's Irish Pub, which closed in the Warehouse District in March of this year after more than 20 years in business.
In its place is DuMont's Down Low, a new concept from FBR Management — the hospitality group behind popular local hangouts including Gibson Street Bar, Mean Eyed Cat and Lala's Little Nugget. The new bar, now open at 214 W. Fourth St., uses the exposed brick of the century-old building to grand effect, creating a beautifully lit basement speakeasy featuring craft cocktails and an expansive whiskey list.
DuMont's displays its love of whiskey in more ways than one. In addition to about 70 labels on the back bar, the cozy space also has whiskey barrels spread throughout from local distillers like Ben Milam Whiskey, in Blanco. And you can bet whiskey has a prominent presence on the cocktail menu as well. Here are the cocktails on the opening menu:
Brown Derby: Ben Milam Rye, grapefruit and honey
La Ultima Palabra: Xicaru Mezcal, green chartreuse, luxardo and lime
Midnight Oil: Old Forester Bourbon, Vecchio Amaro del Capo and Peychaud's bitters
The Blanche: beet, jalapeño, ginger, citrus-infused vodka with ginger beer
Double Barrel: High West Double Rye, overproof rum, sloe gin, Cynar, lemon and grenadine
Charlotte: Plantation Rum, Xicaru Mezcal, Peychaud's bitters, Angostura bitters, lime juice and honey
In charge of the drinks program is FBR bar veteran Nick Gonzalez, previously of Gibson Street Bar and sibling spot the Wheel.
Both the Blanche cocktail and the name of the speakeasy are an ode to Blanche DuMont, a real-life madam who operated one of the most successful brothel operations in Austin's 19th-century red light district known as Guy Town. The present-day Warehouse District does not reflect its seedy past, and neither does DuMont's Down Low or the restaurant that is going into Fado's street-level space. Celebrity chef Jason Dady is turning it into a taco joint called Chispas, which has no opening date yet.
DuMont's Down Low is open 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily. For more information, visit facebook.com/DuMontsDownLow.