After almost two years in the making, The Hightower has finally opened its doors to the public from the minds of co-owners, Chad Dolezal and Victor Farnsworth. The burgeoning Austin neighborhood restaurant brings chef-driven cuisine with an affordable menu and high-quality service.

Chad Dolezal and Victor Farnsworth

Chad Dolezal and Victor Farnsworth

The easy to navigate menu leaves much of the dining experience up to the individual. Dolezal chose a very straightforward approach to the menu making all the dishes traditional entrée size. This deliberate choice was made so guests could choose their own adventure of sorts. Share a dish, or don’t; order one, then maybe a couple more if hunger still pangs. Dolezal’s philosophy is to make affordable ingredients and dishes equally, if not more delicious, than it’s expensive counter parts. Instead of using a dry-aged rib eye, Dolezal uses all-natural skirt steak, and instead of pork belly (once a cheaper cut) he uses pork jowl—which he believes is even more flavorful and flexible for presentation regardless of price.

The easy to navigate menu leaves much of the dining experience up to the individual.

The easy to navigate menu leaves much of the dining experience up to the individual.

It’s easy for foie gras and truffles to taste delicious, but we wanted to make our restaurant great for dining everyday; an affordable, neighborhood restaurant that makes delicious food,” Dolezal said of his menu design. “Keeping that mission in mind, we’ve worked hard to keep our menu in a fair price range but serve quality meals.”

The bar and service style at The Hightower is equally as thoughtful as the menu. Spearheaded by Farnsworth, the bar is meant to evoke an everyday, watering hole vibe. Cocktails are simple, and as Farnsworth states “don’t take longer to make then they do to drink.” The Hightower, while a restaurant, is also meant to draw in the drinking crowd that already exists in a neighborhood lined with bars.

The bar and service style at The Hightower is equally as thoughtful as the menu. Spearheaded by Farnsworth, the bar is meant to evoke an everyday, watering hole vibe. Cocktails are simple, and as Farnsworth states “don’t take longer to make then they do to drink.” The Hightower, while a restaurant, is also meant to draw in the drinking crowd that already exists in a neighborhood lined with bars.

“We wanted the restaurant to not just draw in the diners, but also those just looking for a great cocktail or beer,” Farnsworth said.

Farnsworth’s background extends into the luxury hotel realm where he learned all his tricks of the service industry trade.

“We also have a huge emphasis on the high standards of service,” Farnsworth said. “While we’re a casual, neighborhood restaurant, the service values in place are meant to make it really one-of-a-kind.”

Smoked Tofu

smoked tofu, cauliflower, arugula, ginger, charred orange, edamame puree, olive paper

smoked tofu, cauliflower, arugula, ginger, charred orange, edamame puree, olive paper

Fried Boudin

fried boudin, carrot, purple hull peas, apple mostarda

fried boudin, carrot, purple hull peas, apple mostarda

Roasted Pork Jowl

roasted pork jowl, rice, egg yolk, avocado, cucumber, pickled shallots, house sriracha

roasted pork jowl, rice, egg yolk, avocado, cucumber, pickled shallots, house sriracha

 

 

Dolezal and Farnsworth have literally put their own blood, sweat and tears into the building doing much of the construction themselves. The Hightower has taken on quite the transformation from the former Karibou space into a neighborhood restaurant with a contemporary, welcoming vibe set to match the menus and the quality of service. Designed by Joy Dolezal of Kampfe de Stijl Architecture, The Hightower still holds the charm of old Austin while evoking an architecturally modern look. The 70 seat space with a large outdoor patio, hosts a large bar with, legend has it, one of The Driskill’s original wall mirrors anchoring it. Modern fixtures and banquettes are balanced with simple bar stools and dining tables cut and refinished from old Habitat for Humanity doors. The focal piece of art covers the rear wall and was painted by local artist Graham Franciose.
Dolezal and Farnsworth have literally put their own blood, sweat and tears into the building doing much of the construction themselves. The Hightower has taken on quite the transformation from the former Karibou space into a neighborhood restaurant with a contemporary, welcoming vibe set to match the menus and the quality of service. Designed by Joy Dolezal of Kampfe de Stijl Architecture, The Hightower still holds the charm of old Austin while evoking an architecturally modern look. The 70 seat space with a large outdoor patio, hosts a large bar with, legend has it, one of The Driskill’s original wall mirrors anchoring it. Modern fixtures and banquettes are balanced with simple bar stools and dining tables cut and refinished from old Habitat for Humanity doors. The focal piece of art covers the rear wall and was painted by local artist Graham Franciose.

The Hightower is a neighborhood, chef-driven restaurant serving modern, yet affordable cuisine and cocktails. Located 1209 E. Seventh St. the restaurant is open Tuesday – Sunday 5PM–Close with Happy Hour from 5-7 PM. For further information please visit www.thehightoweraustin.com. ‘Like’ on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheHightowerAustin. Follow on Twitter at @TheHightowerATX and on Instagram at @TheHightowerAustin

 

Photos By Courtney Pierce – www.courtpiephotography.com

About The Author

Hayden Walker
Executive Editor | Co-Publisher
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Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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