Austin/ Food & Drinks
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Published on April 18, 2024
New Deli and Speakeasy-Style Cocktail Lounge Open in Downtown AustinSource: Google Street View

Downtown Austin's dining and drinking scene continues to expand, with the arrival of a dual-concept deli and cocktail lounge, Manny’s and Powder Room, nestled at 301 West Fifth Street. As Eater Austin reports, the sandwich shop Manny’s opened its doors to bring classic and inventive sandwiches to the table, while Powder Room, accessed through a backdoor at Manny’s, promises a speakeasy vibe with a twist -- a tableside cocktail service.

Behind the fresh arrivals, Lobos Hospitality has already marked its presence with Toasty Badger, the retro diner that took Austin by storm earlier in the year. Taking over a former Dairy Queen on South Congress Avenue, Toasty Badger's nod to simpler times has resonated well with locals. Carrying over that momentum, Manny's premiered on April 18 with a "soft-opening phase" and started serving a menu celebrated for its freshness and inclusivity, from a spicy Crying Tiger Sandwich to various vegan options, according to a statement obtained by CultureMap Austin.

Manny’s, striving for a "community-driven" atmosphere, offers a diverse menu that caters to an array of diets, featuring vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free choices. On the other end, Powder Room ascends with a flair of nostalgia, offering a range of vintage cocktails and the novel concept of "tableside mixology," bringing the drink-making process to the patrons for a more interactive experience. "Bartending right at tableside where guests can watch their server build a personalized cocktail offers an elevated experience unique to Powder Room," head mixologist Drew Record told CultureMap Austin.

Designed by Peter Bowden of Petermax, the space at Manny's captivates with its Art Deco prints and mid-century decor, hinting at an urban sanctuary. "I wanted to create a space with a bright and fresh appearance that also doubles as a sanctuary from a citythat never sleeps," Bowden explained in a press release cited by CultureMap Austin. Adding to the enchantment, Powder Room serves up an intimate setting of dim lights and artsy allure, inviting guests into what seems like a time capsule of a bar.

Both concepts are under the management of Dawn Catagnus, whosF experience spans the Austin Marriott Downtown’s Zanzibar, Korean American haunt Oseyo, and the now-shuttered barbecue joint Freedman’s. The verdant Manny's is welcoming walk-ins, while those keen on the discreet charm of Powder Room can secure their spot through reservations on OpenTable. As the first creature week fades into the rearview, Manny's and Powder Room look to dive into full operation on April 26, after a brief pause on the prior day, promising a snug corner in the heart of Austin that stitches together the threads of culinary design and beverage innovation.