pickles on the side
Sister bars with pickleball courts score new space in South Austin
A new two-bar concept coming to South Austin is redefining all-day fun. Coffee by day, cocktails by night is a common format for the area, but Drifters Social Coffee & Cocktails and The Pickle Pub are upping the ante with a sports bar feel and a one-of-a-kind pickleball court.
The bars, run by South ATX Hospitality, are taking over 10630 Manchaca Rd. and are set to open in early 2024. With plenty to do, the concept aims to become a go-to for Austinites to hang out at any time of the day whether it be for remote work, studying, or staying active.
“We're excited to bring a little something for everyone in the South Austin area with Drifters and The Pickle Pub," writes Jason Hart of South ATX Hospitality in an email to CultureMap. "We look forward to becoming a central part of the local community and blending seamlessly into their day-to-day lives. We hope it feels like you've been coming here for years when you arrive for the first time."
Drifters offers a cozy ambiance in the morning with plenty of indoor seating and a serene outdoor space surrounded by mature trees. At night, even as it transitions to the cocktail club, it remains intimate and laid-back. Renowned mixologist Clayton Jones, of local fame thanks to his work at the Tipsy Alchemist, is behind the "show-stopping" cocktails, a release promises.
Behind the bar — in true Austin fashion — food trucks I Panini Place and The Shrimp Boi will offer a food break for hungry patrons with breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. For families, the bar will remain kid-friendly until 6 pm on the weekends, and the backyard will always welcome furry friends. There will be an off-leash, fenced dog park, picnic benches, and built-in fire pits for colder days.
Next to Drifters, the Pickle Pub offers an alternative scene for those who want a little more than just a cocktail. The sports bar will feature large TVs, an outdoor LED screen in the courtyard, and taps by local by local breweries. The standout feature — a first in South Austin according to the hospitality group — is a pair of regulation and fenced pickleball courts.
Don't worry; We thought it, too. No one really wants to enjoy a meal right next to the incessant rubber popping of a pickleball match, so those courts will be nestled further back in the complex to not disturb the relaxed patio scene.
Also in the backyard, there will be live music every Thursday through Sunday with plans to host events, watch parties, and other gatherings. It's an effort to encapsulate that irreplaceable South Austin culture, an aspect that was key for South ATX Hospitality; It's also maintaining as much of the site's original structure as possible.
“Austin has seen enough renovations or complete tear-downs of older buildings all over this city and we felt like South Austin has its unique history worth preserving," writes Hart. "There are always challenges when working around an existing structure, sure, but it's much more rewarding when you can capture the character that's already there.”
In the press release, Hart also says the team wants to build something the community is proud of: "a place that captures the unique vibe of this area and offers a 'choose your own adventure' experience."