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New Irish pub debuts in Round Rock on St. Patrick's Day

Rebeccah Macias
Austin American-Statesman
Guests line up at the door for the grand opening of Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery in Round Rock on Wednesday.

Easy question: What's the best day to open an Irish pub? 

Located at 4000 East Palm Valley in Round Rock, Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery celebrated its grand opening on Wednesday — St. Patrick's Day, of course. 

Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery describes itself as an authentic Irish pub experience mixed with Texas modernism, innovation and hospitality, according to its website.

"I was totally blown away by everything from the food to the architecture," said Round Rock resident Neville Stewart, one of the pub's first customers. "They truly did an incredible job with all that was done in the pub." 

Guests sit outside at Cork & Barrel's patio for its grand opening on March 17, 2021 to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Round Rock. The pub features feature a chef’s counter, Irish snugs, a wine room, indoor and outdoor stages, and a nearly acre-wide beer garden.

Co-owners of Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery Jay Kudla and Sam Darlington say they came up with the idea for the business over pints of Guinness. 

"We wanted to blend the fun and uniqueness of an Irish pub experience with the premium hospitality and cuisine Central Texas has become synonymous with," Kudla said.

The duo said they wanted to bring both a little bit of Dublin and a little bit of downtown Austin to Round Rock. 

"We're Irish happy and Texas friendly," Kudla said.  

Kudla is the president of RS3 Strategic Hospitality, a food and beverage company that works with Dell Diamond, Circuit of Americas and the Germanina Insurance Amphitheater. 

The Irish pub features a chef's counter, small private areas called Irish snugs, a wine room, indoor and outdoor stages and a near acre-wide garden. 

Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. 

Guests can also make reservations at Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery can be online at opentable.com/r/cork-and-barrel-craft-kitchen-and-microbrewery-round-rock. 

The restaurant is following pandemic safety guidelines and guests will be required to wear masks when they're not sitting at their tables, which will be six feet apart for proper social distancing. Hand sanitizers will also be placed throughout the restaurant.