The forthcoming Rainey Street-area restaurant named after the nightlife district’s once-beloved resident guinea fowl, Geraldine, is one step closer to opening now that another crucial position has been filled: the chief of bar operations.
That role is being taken up by Jennifer Keyser, a longtime fixture in Austin’s bar scene. She most recently brought her upbeat spirit and creative cocktails to East Austin’s Contigo, and she’ll do the same at Geraldine’s while she’s in charge of the bar program there, pairing the eatery’s “contemporary Austin cuisine” with “innovative cocktails and spirits and a locally driven craft beer list,” according to a press release.
Plus, the restaurant will put a particular focus on whiskey, with more than 80 different American whiskeys on the menu.
Geraldine’s, on the fourth floor of the not-yet-opened Hotel Van Zandt, plans to open later this fall. Under Keyser, the bar will feature Texas-centric drinks such as Willie’s Cup (High West Double Rye, house-made hemp seed milk and sage), Deep in the Heart (Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka, Strega, lime and cava) and Blasphemous Rumor (Cabeza Tequila, Zucca Amaro, Punt e Mes, blueberry and egg white).
Plus, the adjoining pool deck at the hotel will have its own set of refreshing cocktail options, also created by Keyser. These include the Bat City Swizzle (pink peppercorn-infused Milagro Blanco, Aperol, lemon and soda).
If these all sound tasty, you won’t have to wait until the fall to try them for yourself. To give Austinites a sneak taste of the coming cocktails, Midnight Cowboy is hosting a special bar takeover on Sept. 1., when Keyser will shake up and stir some of Geraldine’s planned libations. Make reservations at the East Sixth Street bar by going online at midnightcowboymodeling.com or by phone at 512-843-2715.
Once officially ready for business, Geraldine’s bar will be open 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The hotel is located just off Rainey Street at 605 Davis St. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/geraldinesaustn.