Long-running East Sixth dive bar morphs into swank cantina and food truck courtyard

East Sixth dive bar morphs into swank cantina and food truck courtyard

Taco Flats ATX Al Pastor
La Holly will include bites from the Taco Flats Airstream food truck. Taco Flats

One of East Sixth Street’s last remaining dives is no more. Simon Madera, the owner of Burnet Road’s Taco Flats, has transformed the long-running dive bar Kellee’s Place into a new concept featuring agave-based spirits and food from the Taco Flats food truck and Thai favorite Dee Dee.

The new bar, La Holly, was first announced in August 2017 as a restaurant concept similar to Taco Flats, but the concept has since switched gears. Owner and operating partners Chris Nowles, Michael Vasko, and Patrick O’Donnell have created a beverage program that will focus on cocktails made from Mexican liquors like bacanora, raicilla, sotol, mezcal, and tequila. Beer will be available in cans, bottles, and taps focused on local brewers.

The interior space was designed by Chris McCray and Grace Hall of McCray & Co., the firm behind several Austin hospitality projects, including Noble Sandwich Co. on Burnet, Picnic, Lenoir, the now-closed St. Philip, and Taco Flats. The designers outfitted the space with a repurposed bar, TVs, a record player, and their signature custom furniture and lighting fixtures.

The outdoor space was reworked into a beer garden and food truck courtyard by partner Mark Word of Mark Word Design, whose climate-friendly work includes Bunkhouse Group projects Austin Motel and Hotel San Jose, as well as El Cosmico in Marfa.

La Holly, at 2500 E. Sixth St., will go through a soft opening phase February 14-15 with limited hours between 5 pm-12 am. On February 16, regular hours will resume: Wednesday through Thursday, noon-11 pm; Friday and Saturday, noon-12 am; and Sunday, noon-7 pm.