Listen to Austin 360 Radio

North Loop bar Drink.Well reopens following ‘recent difficult event’

Arianna Auber
This North Loop bar is back in business.

The cocktail bar Drink.Well has reopened after nearly two months of a temporary closure — and it has made a couple of big changes.

Former co-owner Michael Sanders has given 100 percent of his stake in the bar to his partner Jessica Sanders, and he is no longer part of the management of the business. Plus, she has hired an outside human resources firm to serve as an additional outlet for current employees to address their questions or concerns.

Both of these steps were necessary following an incident that caused the temporary shutter of the bar in the first place in mid-August. At the time, the Sanderses also gave up their role managing the South Lamar Boulevard cocktail bar Backbeat.

Now that Drink.Well has reopened, Jessica Sanders and former Drink.Well employee Becca Yannone, who left her position there as a result of the incident, have made a joint statement: 

“Drink.Well. would like to express its sincere gratitude to Becca Yannone for bringing a recent difficult event to drink.well’s attention. Although the incident did not take place at drink.well, it affected the entire team. Small teams that work closely together often develop a family-like closeness, and drink.well.’s team is no exception. Becca’s report was taken seriously, and Jessica Sanders and Becca have worked together, amicably and respectfully, to hear and address Becca’s concerns and find a path forward.”

Other steps that Jessica Sanders is taking include “solidifying drink.well’s formal, written policies and procedures including those addressing workplace safety, respect and harassment, and (she) will require additional training for all employees, including herself,” according to a news release.

The North Loop bar is reopening with a new seasonal cocktail menu, a collaboration between Sanders and Drink.Well’s new bar manager, Antonio Tommasi. He is a recent Los Angeles transplant.

For now, Drink.Well is open 4 p.m. to midnight Wednesday-Saturday and 4 to 11 p.m. Sunday. The bar is located at 207 E. 53rd St.