Craft Beer Austin Bar profile:
Waller Creek Pub House is located at 603 Sabine Street which opened in March 2015.
A new addition to the Dirty Sixth bar scene, but it’s not the type of place that you would expect.
Waller Creek Pub House joins Easy Tiger and The Gatsby bringing a new kind of well-crafted relaxed vibe to the area. Nestled behind the Waller Ballroom, the space has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and aims to be your new hang out destination.
The pub features an impressive 30 handle tap wall and elevated pub food. And it’s not just 30 taps, it is 30 very carefully selected taps from Nebraska’s Black Betty to Destihl’s Counter Clockweisse. You can also expect tap takeovers and special events like Founders KBS versus Oskar Blues Barrel Aged Ten Fidy.
I spoke with Co-Founder and Manager Justin Malone to learn more about the pub and plans for the future.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how the pub got started:
The Idea for the pub was hatched 5 years ago when Corey Hutchins and I moved to Austin from Houston with the idea to open a craft beer bar on the Eastside. To stay relevant in the craft beer industry I took a several jobs from running the Austin branch of Duff Beer Distribution to sales representative for Deep Ellum and Sixpoint brewery. Throughout that time we were working on getting the pub off the ground. We also met James Horton in that period (the current General Manager) and decided we’d like him to come work with us at the pub, his 10yrs experience in the bar industry here in Austin is priceless.
We also rely on James to guide us in our liquor selection; his experience has really helped us curate a great list. We recruited Sonny Pena from Petrol Station in Houston as our Kitchen Manager. We have a good connection with Petrol Station because I was one of the first employees there when I was going to grad school in Houston. Our bars are very similar in culture and spirit and the owners, Darren Greenwood and Ben Fullelove, are very good friends of mine. Darren ended up being an integral part of writing our menu.
We were introduced to our third partner, Jesse Lind, when we found this property and he has helped with the vision of both the Waller Ballroom and the Pub. This team coupled with some very carefully chosen investors makes up our close business family. It took 1 year and 4 months from signing a lease to opening the door for both the Pub and Waller Ballroom.
The craft beer selection is fantastic. Something I noticed is there are no macro beers to be found, why did you choose that approach? What about cocktails?
Our beer approach is simple, good true craft beers on a rotational tap wall. If it’s good, we’ll put it on, as long as it’s true craft. This means no Bud/Miller/Coors. We took this approach because of my background in the industry. I’ve always sold and stood by craft beer and it’s something we truly believe in. If your favorite beer isn’t on right now, chances are it will be in the future. I want the wall to be truly a rotational tap wall, this way we provide the best selection possible with no restraints.
As for our cocktails, James said it best, we choose liquor that can stand on its own. Good whiskeys and good tequilas are our main focus. We do have some mixers, served as set ups. Coke, sprite, ginger beer, tonic are just a few that we serve up next to your liquor in small single serve bottles.
The menu features “upscale” pub food with plenty of variety and the food is quite delicious, (dare I say healthy?). Tell us more about your approach to the pub’s menu:
I’ll let Sonny our Kitchen Manager answer this for you:
The idea for the menu was to offer typical pub food but made with quality ingredients, time and care. All the burger patties are made by hand, not purchased preformed. All dressings are made in house. Even the corned beef for the Reuben is braised and sliced by us. The bread is outsourced to New World Bakery, which is fantastic and delivers our bread multiple times throughout the week. I learned to make food that I would love to eat and serve while in the kitchen at Petrol Station in Houston. Darren taught me that even if it was “pub food” it didn’t have to be low quality, to not sacrifice time for quantity, to surprise people with a high level of commitment to the preparation of their food. So that’s the philosophy that I’ve taken in the kitchen here at Waller Creek Pub House and I try to instill in my kitchen staff. I think people have reacted really well to that approach and will keep coming back.
You tend to keep a variety of events on the calendar, what else can we expect in the future?
We plan to have craft beer focused events at least once a month and eventually incorporate some beer dinners. We understand how important/fun it is for the customers to have a connection with the breweries they love. That is why we plan to utilize our relationships we have with the breweries to have events at the pub that are truly unique and fun, not only for the customer but for us and our staff as well as the brewery reps.
Dirty-Sixth definitely needs a revitalization and what a better way to start than by adding a stellar craft beer and cocktail bar. Waller Creek Pub House will without a doubt become a sixth street staple for those of us craving high quality food and craft beverages in a relaxed setting.