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The Brixton and Shangri-La to open new east side venture: Drinks

Big D's Sports Bar
Drinks will take over the former home of Big D's Sports Bar. Google Maps

The ink is barely dry on a lease for Drinks, a new bar from the folks behind The Brixton and Shangri-La.

Housed at 2001 E. Cesar Chavez (the current site of the now-shuttered Big D's Sports Bar), Drinks promises a similar vibe to its East Sixth sister bars. Tim Lupa, who co-owns The Brixton with his wife, Sara, tells CultureMap that the new place will offer curated drafts and a small cocktail menu, all at a price point similar to Brixton and Shang.

And though Drinks' interiors are still in the planning stage, (they did just sign the lease after all), regulars can expect to relax in high-backed bar booths, shoot a round on the pool tables and, if approved, take in some sun on an outdoor patio. Powerhouse designer — and Brixton regular — Bryan Keplesky (who also designed the logo for Birds Barbershop and Fun Fun Fun Fest, among others) is in talks to create the logo for the new bar.

Drinks isn't the first time the Lupas have teamed up with Tyler Van Aken and Emily Brooke Van Aken, the husband-wife duo behind Shangri-La. Tim and Emily have known each other for years, having met as neighbors in Dallas, and the Van Akens helped their friends open The Brixton. Together, the foursome spent more than two years searching for the perfect location for their next endeavor and after finding the new Cesar Chavez digs, they knew they had hit the jackpot. In addition to its saloon-style exterior, the building was built in 1941 and has been a bar in one incarnation or another since the 1980s.

Citing nearby neighbors like Cenote as an inspiration, Lupa says he hopes Drinks will become a neighborhood destination. "We want our neighbors to come in every couple of days for a drink," he says. And those neighbors may be able to get more than a drink. With space for a small kitchen, Lupa says they are toying with the idea of adding a small, but thoughtful, food menu.

One thing Drinks will not be is a live music destination. Though they may add a small stage for special events and DJ nights, Drinks is more about offering a reprieve from the chaos that can sometimes take over East Sixth. "We want this to be a low-key neighborhood cocktail lounge," explains Lupa, who notes that many of his weekday regulars shy away from their normal haunts once Friday rolls around. "East Sixth is a destination [now], but this will be an east side lounge for those regulars," he explains.

Drinks is slated to open in the fall of 2014.

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