One of Austin's most esteemed personalities behind the bar, Jessica Sanders, has taken on a new role.
The owner of Drink.Well is now the beverage director of Edgewise Hospitality restaurants, which include Contigo and Last Straw. She has given the cocktail menus at both eastside places a proper sprucing up. Additionally, Edgewise — founded by Ben Edgerton and Andrew Wiseheart — now serves in an advisory role at Drink.Well.
"Jessica jumped in headfirst and has already made a tremendous impact at Contigo and Last Straw," Edgerton said in an email. "The reputation she has garnered over the past seven years at Drink.Well speaks for her professionalism and talent."
She has "truly made her mark" with the cocktail refresh at Contigo and Last Straw, he said. Among the changes at Contigo is a new agave-focused approach to the mixed drinks. Wine offerings have also been expanded, a second frozen drink machine was added, and there's now a beer on draft that was tailor-made for Contigo's wondrous patio: St. Elmo Brewing's Ranch Hand, a light beer made with Texas corn.
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The vacation-themed Last Straw, which recently celebrated one year in business, now has more classic Tiki cocktails on the menu than ever. The bar — in the space once occupied by Edgewise's shuttered Gardner restaurant — also introduced a new destination program highlighting different places around the world through special drinks and dishes. This month's place is Martinique.
Contigo made some renovations this summer in advance of the restaurant's eighth anniversary. The renovations have made it easier for people to dine in Texas' extreme weather, including fully enclosing the restaurant and adding air conditioning.
Edgewise Hospitality also oversees Contigo at Fareground, Contigo Catering, Contigo Ranch and the recently announced Ladybird Taco in Nashville. For more information, visit atxedgewise.com.