Maker's mark

Millennial crafts and cocktails bar has designs on downtown Austin

Millennial crafts and cocktails bar has designs on downtown Austin

Upstairs Circus
The Denver location of Upstairs Circus gives locals an idea of what to expect from the Austin space. Photo courtesy of Upstairs Circus

We really do try to give crafting projects our best, but too often our attempts to make Shrinky Dink earrings in the shape of Carrie Bradshaw’s face wind up being derailed when we realize that the instructions call for more than a bottle of Pinot Grigio and a copy of US Weekly.

In those moments, as we sop spilled wine off of an ad for the new Nissan Sentra, we can't help but wonder: Is there a place where we can fulfill our creative impulses alongside a fully-stocked bar? 

Thankfully, just like Carrie after one of Mr. Big’s many transgressions, Upstairs Circus has answered our call. The Denver-based bar/craft studio will be opening their fourth location in Austin's Second Street District, featuring a menu of more than 25 crafts, as well as specialty drinks, wine, and local beer.

The cocktail list plays off the Parisian circus theme of the interior with libations such as the Pink Elephant with Tito’s, Cointreau, lime, and cranberry (Hey! It’s a Cosmo!); Coco Contortionist with coconut water vodka, pineapple juice, vanilla bean simple syrup, and soda; and Strongman’s Punch which is sangria, sparkling wine, soda, lemon, lime, and orange.

Want to make a “sassy tassel necklace” or a stone serving tray for your homemade charcuterie? Make a reservation for one of the bar’s project socials and the company will provide everything from supplies to tools. Although photo instructions are given and assistants are available to help, no formal classes are offered at Upstairs Circus. Instead, patrons can work at their own pace in a more unstructured environment. Pricing will range from $28 during happy hour to $41 during the Making ’n’ Mimosas Social, which includes bottomless mimosas.

Food is not part of the plans for the space at 234 W. 2nd St. near Taverna, but the locations in Denver and Minneapolis allow food to be brought in to the bar and stock menus for delivery. The team expects an opening date of early 2018.