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Honey Moon brings craft cocktails, modern American small plates to 34th Street

Matthew Odam
Austin 360
Honey Moon Spirit Lounge is open in a familiar space on 34th Street.

If you've driven down 34th Street in recent months, you've noticed the transformation of one building that has been a hospitality staple in the neighborhood for years.

The bungalow that was home to Starlite and then the first Salvation Pizza has a new face. Honey Moon Spirit Lounge opens on Tuesday at 624 W. 34th St.. 

Honey Moon Spirit Lounge owners Reed Calhoun and Adrienne Wiggins had to postpone their wedding during the pandemic.

When co-owners Reed Calhoun, a musician and longtime restaurant veteran, and Adrienne Wiggins saw the pandemic postpone their planned wedding, the couple started thinking about a honeymoon on a different scale. Why not open their own bar and restaurant and name it Honey Moon, a space where they could "celebrate their love and express their passion for hospitality," as they say in a news release announcing the opening?

Sourcing from local farms, executive chef Manuel Rocha, who has worked at Hopfields and Bonhomie, created a food menu at Honey Moon that features shareable plates like koji-aged steak frites, duck fat-fried hot chicken and vegan barbecue burnt ends. 

Chicken liver mousse from Honey Moon Spirit Lounge.

The bar program is under the guidance of Mallory Valentine, a 20-year industry veteran who has worked L'Oca d’Oro and Bonhomie, and features a roster of unique cocktails like the Who’s The Bosc? (Rittenhouse Rye, pear-ginger cordial and lemon) and Wet Your Beak In the Stream (Brennivin Aquavit, dry vermouth, pickle brine). Gretchen Van Eck, previously of Olamaie and Gardner, oversees the globally inspired wine list.

Honey Moon Spirit Lounge chef Manuel Rocha has worked at Hopfields and Bonhomie before.

Calhoun, who has worked at Home Slice Pizza and Enoteca Vespaio, and Wiggins, who works in land management and real estate, designed the restaurant with the large patio to have an ethereal vibe, complemented by French-inspired antiques and chandeliers. 

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Honey Moon Spirit Lounge is open 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday and Tuesday-Thursday, and 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Reservations can be made on Tock