(Austin, TX)— Bringing slightly modernized pub staples and impressive brews and other libations to the South First Street neighborhood, Porter Ale House & Gastropub is now open. Situated underneath the Tree Condominiums, Porter is owned by longtime friends Neil Joiner, Joe Bixel and Trevor Lane, who previously all worked at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort. Chefs Joiner and Bixel will man the kitchen, rolling out hearty fare, while Lane will act as manager, altogether working in tandem to create a friendly neighborhood pub folks can grab some beers and bites, and stay a while. Stemming from their mutual love for the Johnny Cash song “Hey Porter,” the name hints at the porter style of beer associated with the working class in England, suggesting the restaurant’s aim of creating an approachable and inviting ambience.
“We’re excited to feed the people of Austin true gastropub-style food and drink and happy to be in a neighborhood so accepting of us,” Joiner said of the newly opened Porter.
Designed by Merrill Alley with Urban Space Interiors and Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture, Porter’s inviting environment starts with the glass exterior. Encouraging guests to pique their interest and take a glimpse inside, they will undoubtedly be enticed by Porter’s clean modern lines and vibrant light fixtures. Heavily wood-inspired, from the seating to the tap wall of thirty beers, Porter evokes a rustic atmosphere, complementing the distinctively tasty food and drink fare that grace the menu. At 111 seats, Porter offers barstools at the window with a view overlooking South First Street, a 40-seat communal table, and a few cozy banquettes. For those fair-weathered Austin days, a 30-seat patio will be available, ideal for sitting back and enjoying a cold one.
With previous experiences at some of New York’s finest restaurants and a mutual inspiration from the late great Julia Child, Bixel and Joiner are bringing their culinary skills to the forefront of Porter’s kitchen. Patrons can take their pick from the menu of recognizable dishes, slightly modernized, and appropriately divided into Snacks, Small Plates and Large Plates. The “Snacks” offer the right amount for picking and sharing, with the likes of Pork Belly Sliders with peach mostarda, Truffle Popcorn sprinkled with parmesan, and Oxtail Croquettes with housemade dijonnaise. The “Small Plates” take it to the next step, boasting the Grilled Pimento Cheese, the ultimate in cold weather comfort food, accompanied by warm tomato dip, as well as My Pieroghetive, cleverly named pierogies with Yukon potato, farmers cheese and dill sour cream. The Beer Cheese Fondue is also sure to be a fan favorite, a cheesy wonder served with apples, a freshly baked pretzel and endive. For the full-fledged appetite, the “Large Plates” feature tasty treats such as Chatham Cod “Fish N Chips” with dill pickles, malt chips and Meyer melon remoulade, and 24 Hour Braised Short Ribs with crispy onion rings, celery root puree and a hint of Porter beer reduction. The cheekily named S&M comprises of a not-so-scandalous, but extremely delicious, dish of spaghetti and meatballs with parmesan, basil and toasted garlic focaccia.
And with great food comes great libations to wash it all down. With thirty beers on tap, including a selection from Austin’s local breweries, and a few cocktails and wine on tap, the bar program at Porter is one to be noticed. The beer selection will have a focus on craft brews and will feature the best of the best from around the globe, hinting at the owners’ favorite styles. In addition to having house wines on tap, Porter will offer guests the option of a fine selection of bottled wines. As for the cocktail menu, similarly to the food, they will offer the classics and old favorites, but taken to the next level with a modern twist. The cleverly named cocktails offer something for everybody. The Banana Nut Old Fashioned offers a little something sweet, made with banana nut infused Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Angostura bitters, and simple syrup, while the Flaming Lips has a bit of a kick, made with Dulce Vida Blanco Tequila, Grand Marnier, lime, jalapeño and cilantro. And for those looking for their caffeine fix, coffee will be available from coffee roaster, Cuvee, a beloved local favorite in Austin.
About Porter Ale House & Gastropub: Porter Ale House & Gastropub is a neighborhood, chef-driven pub serving tasty recognizable dishes, with a modern twist, as well as beers, wine and craft cocktails. Located underneath the Tree Condominiums at 3715 South First Street, Suite A, and opening this weekend, 5PM – Midnight, and early next week, 3PM – Midnight. For further information, please visit www.porteraustin.com.‘Like’ us on Facebook at Facebook.com/PorterAleHouse, and follow us on Twitter at @PorterAleHouse and on Instagram at @PorterAleHouse.