A new restaurant and bar on the outskirts of Austin is already hopping with customers. Taking the quick drive down the Highway 183 Toll Road, new live music destination Lucky Rabbit is deceptively easy to get to despite the 30-minute estimated drive time on Google. And once you arrive, everything at the friendly outpost invites you to kick your feet up and stay a while.
Founders Matt Morcher and Sandra Cleveland have been in the restaurant business for a collective 32 years, with Morcher getting his start at local staples like Jack Allen’s and Z Tejas. Their attention to detail and desire to create a great experience are found in every aspect of the new undertaking, from the design to the music to the menu.
Walking in the front doors, with handles constructed from two shotguns, guests are welcomed into a neon-colored wonder world of natural wood, live music, and the clinking of beer glasses filled with local drafts. The family- and dog-friendly venue takes the place of an old beer barn drive-thru. Morcher and Cleveland completely renovated the space, maintaining the original venue’s strong country vibes.
The indoor stage is the centerpiece of the space, set for live music every day of the week and visible from almost every table in the venue, thanks to livestreaming cameras that run the feed to screens both indoors and out. The floor in front of the stage is open for guests who want to boot, scoot, and boogie to covers of '90s country songs and original songs by local performers. But one of the best views of the stage is from the balcony, where folks can catch a bird’s-eye view of performances while enjoying their food and drinks.
The menu certainly competes with live music for the main attraction: everything is scratch-made, from the delicious starters (“Nibbles”) to the sandwiches (“Buns”) and salads (“Field Eats”) on offer. Sample the country fried pickle chips to start. Wash them down with a local draft beer or any of the frozen margaritas, like the Jackrabbit, which features a Tajin rim and spiced watermelon.
The salads look equally tempting as the sandwiches, but we went straight for the Hot Chick, a Nashville-style hot fried chicken sandwich with homemade Texas crack sauce (Morcher calls it a “souped-up aioli”), pickles, and house slaw. If you’re in the mood for a burger, Morcher’s favorites are the Backyard Beef BBQ (pickles, onion, backyard BBQ sauce, cheddar, and bacon) or the Border Burger (Texas crack, green chile queso, pico, pickled jalapenos, and chipotle sour cream). All sandwiches come with perfectly twisted curly fries, but if you are somehow still hungry after that, try the fried peaches for dessert.
Between bites and live music sets, guests can wander the grounds for photo opps, including the indoor neon “Lucky” sign and a mural downstairs that reads “It’s Your Lucky Day… You Found The Lucky Rabbit.” Outside, a 1950s school bus, “Old Rusty,” has been recycled into a bar, and a dog park is currently under construction as an addition to the massive patio area shaded by gorgeous Texas oaks.
You'll find the Lucky Rabbit just outside of Cedar Park, near Lake Travis, at 18626 Ranch Road 1431 in Jonestown. Hours are Sunday through Thursday, 11 am-midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11 am-1 am. Happy hour is available weekdays from 3-6 pm, and a live music schedule can be found here.