Cat Nap

Popular East Austin patio bar returns to Ramen Tatsu-Ya's backyard

Popular East Austin patio bar returns to Ramen Tatsu-Ya's backyard

Domo Alley Gato
Domo Alley-Gato Tatsu-Ya is back from an extended "cat nap." Photo by Julia Keim

Just in time for prime patio weather, Ramen Tatsu-Ya announced the long anticipated return of East Austin patio Domo Alley-Gato Tatsu-Ya as a bar and events venue. After closing for a “cat nap” in July 2021, the beloved bar is claiming one of its nine feline lives in its official reopening on Thursday, April 21.

Located at 1600 E. Sixth St., attached to Ramen Tatsu-Ya, Domo Alley-Gato draws inspiration from tachinomiya, or standing bars, and yokocho, meaning “alleyways off to the side of a main street” in Japanese, transporting guests to the vibrant, buzzing nightlife found in some of Japan’s biggest cities.

Generally found close to major commuter rail stations, tachinomiya are perfect spots to end the day or warm up for a night out, offering a lively environment for mingling and imbibing. The small bars typically have limited seating or are standing room only. Stemming from the post-World War II era, yokocho refers to pedestrian alleyways packed with small adjoining pubs and bars. With food and drinks in a laid-back atmosphere, these traditional concepts have gained newfound popularity in the past several years.

As Domo Alley-Gato welcomes guests back, a familiar menu of drinks will be available, from craft cocktails and DIY Chu-Hi to the fan favorite Kirin Ichiban Cold Caps, plus a selection of sake and beer curated by Tatsu-Ya sake sommelier Bryan Masamitsu Parsons. Created by Tatsu-Ya beverage director Michael Phillips, the cocktail menu includes refreshing sips like the City Slang with gin, pineapple, citrus, shiso, Fernet Branca, and soda and the Shinku Punch with gin, sake, prickly pear, citrus, and yaupon tea. DIY Chu-Hi will allow guests to choose from a selection of spirits paired with house-made tonics featuring unique flavors like “Gold” with ginger, saffron, and Szechuan pepper; “Black” with sesame, pepper, and citrus; or “Violet” with lavender, lemongrass, and fennel.

Complementing the cocktails is a limited bites menu, featuring the return of the Karē Ban Ban Dog, a teriyaki beef frank in a fried panko brioche bun topped with Domo Karē chili. Additional bites like pork dumplings, twice-fried chicken karaage with garlic aioli and spicy edamame round out the menu at the East Austin locale, which seeks to serve as a new event and gathering space for the community. The venue has plans to host creatives from DJ sets and live music to artist showcases and more.

Starting Thursday, April 21, Domo Alley-Gato Tatsu-Ya will be open daily from 4 pm to midnight, with no reservations required.