From Warehouse to Clubhouse
Egalitarian social club and flower shop brings old-fashioned elegance to Austin's Warehouse District
In April, seafood restaurant Truluck's announced a major upgrade downtown along with a minor relocation, only a block away. This left the building with the briefest of vacancies, now already claimed by a social club that is sure to keep the upscale vibes going — or significantly amplify them.
Estelle's brings more than a hangout space to 400 Colorado Street, across from the LGBTQ+ block (Oilcan Harry's, Neon Grotto). With multiple bars, a restaurant, and "flower bodega," the club expands the area's nightlife options while carving out a slightly different niche than its neighbors. It provides two social rooms: one "intimate" bar and lounge, and another "lively" club room.
“The most rewarding design projects are those that offer a challenge, and our challenge with this project was to transform the expansive footprint of this building into smaller, more intimate gathering spaces," said Chelsea Kloss, director of interiors and curation at LV Collective, the real estate developer that headed the project. “My team worked closely with Variant Collaborative to develop a unique concept for the space leveraging mixed materiality, vintage furniture and rugs, rich jewel tones, and an abundance of plants to breathe new life into the space.”
The club room certainly looks the part. Tufted leather and velvet seating galore, it's arranged partially like a steakhouse and partially like a living room. All these conversation nooks face out for a second-floor downtown view. It would look like a place to smoke cigars were it not so committed to brightness, with light wood everywhere.
The full bar will serve high-quality wines and beers, and of course, "botanical" themed cocktails like a matcha martini and a Granny Smith Gimlet. At Estelle's, visitors an enjoy easy-to-share plates of seafood, canapes, and other hors d'oeuvres. The luxury continues with caviar ("with an everything seeded-English muffin and whipped red onion crème fraiche") and desserts by Cookie Rich.
Austin has its fair share of exclusive social clubs, but Estelle's doesn't mention any membership. Any illusion of exclusivity will come from the interior design, upscale menu, and private seating areas with bottle service — but both are available to anyone footing the bill. Other bars managed by the same group, NoCo Hospitality, display a similar commitment to the bit, even though the aesthetics are completely different: Superstition, Higher Ground, and Skinny’s Off Track Bar.
“Our goal will always be to guide our city’s nightlife for Austinites[,] with immersive hospitality concepts," said the group's director of operations, Nick Sanchez. "The upscale, swanky environment is open to the public, but it feels like an exclusive experience."
The flower shop is the purview of Native Bloom Floral, an Austin business. Although it seems like Austin is littered with succulent shops (affectionately), this florist offers traditional arrangements befitting semi-old fashioned environment.
The space is now open for various hours every day except Monday, usually ending at midnight or 2 am. The kitchen has its own hours. A happy hour at Estelle's runs from 5-6 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, with "complimentary passed canapes and light bites."