Ch-ch-changes

East Austin dive bar transformed into swanky new restaurant and lounge

East Austin dive bar transformed into swanky new restaurant and lounge

Attabar ATX
The interior of the upcoming Attabar looks nothing like the former occupant, Sputnik. Attabar

The days of the East Sixth dive may be numbered. If The Arnold development casting shadows on The Liberty or construction of La Corsha Hospitality Group’s boutique hotel on the former site of Cheer Up Charlies don't clue you in, maybe the latest hospitality project on the strip will. In March, a new upscale cocktail lounge and gastropub will reimagine the space formerly held by bar (and very greasy spoon) Sputnik.

Attabar is the work of Ian Weightman and musician Ginger Leigh of Formula Expo Inc., the team behind high-end Formula One-adjacent events like Blu Party ATX and the Full Tilt Fashion Show. In April 2017, the company branched out to open fancy bar and dance club Moonfire Lounge on Colorado Street in downtown’s Warehouse District.

Their new project is a slight departure from the pair's previous work and comes with a decidedly more casual bent. Every last vestige of Sputnik has been cleared out, from the wood paneling to the latticework dividers to the Vargas pin-up prints. In their place are Spanish tile, hanging ferns, and rows of Ikea Hektar pendants.

The interior leans a little more restaurant than bar, with blocky wood community tables, a bar area laid out with cushy emerald green bar stools, and a pair of retro red sofas in the waiting area. Although the menu has not been released, the project will indeed have be serving casual and creative down-home food from truck Holy Macaroni.

There will also be a full bar helmed by Moonfire Lounge manager Chelsea Thomas. Expect coffee drinks, batched cocktails, and takes on classic mixed drinks.

Attabar will open for lunch, dinner, and late nights starting with a soft opening in early March before a grand opening following SXSW. But a few lucky guests will be able to get a sneak peek at the space sooner when local band Will Taylor and Strings Attached and Leigh perform an RSVP only set.