Chauncy James Shares New Cocktail Bar Details
By Megan Giller
January 30, 2014
Photo by: Jessica Pages
Garage, a new craft cocktail bar set in the garage of the McGarrah Jessee building downtown, is well on its way to opening. We caught up with barman Chauncy James yesterday, who told us all about the cocktails at the new space, which will soft open at the end of February and be in full swing by SXSW. The Austin-famous mixologist hails from places like East Side Show Room and the Volstead, and he’s bringing that same sensibility to Garage.
The space itself used to be the valet boys’ ticketing office back in the day, and interior designer Mickie Spencer (also of East Side Show Room fame) is keeping that same Mad Men, mid-century-modern aesthetic. James says the cocktails are “like the space - transitional” and that they’re “new modern classics” that are “polished, perfect pieces” and curated based on his favorite things in Austin.
For example, the French Legation is one of the drinks he’s most excited about. James says,
“Did you know France was the only country to officially recognize the Republic of Texas? I didn’t, and I became fascinated by the history. And by fascinated I mean I read the Wikipedia page. After a century of survival, many drunken East Side cinema afternoons and a couple of weddings I thought it certainly merited a drink named after it.”
The drink brings together tequila, lemon, dubbonet rouge and St. Germain with a garnish of sparkling ginger and quartered strawberries.
The smallish menu features many more delights to come. And with the new Italian concept from chef Drew Curren moving into the building soon too, it looks like the McGarrah Jessee is the place to be in 2014.