June 10, 2023 12:12 am

Earlier this spring, a new all-day bar and restaurant touting New Orleans fare and ambiance with Texas tinges, created its way into in East Austin beneath the energy group of pitmaster Aaron Franklin and music maven James Moody. Uptown Sports Club opened at 1200 East Sixth Street on March 27.

Uptown had been a extended time coming for the abandoned developing on the corner of East Sixth and Waller Streets. The physical space was constructed in the 1890s and was a bakery/butcher shop/industry, per the Towers. And then it became a bar and cafe named the Sport Bar by owner Arnold Hernandez in the 1960s into the 1990s when its name changed to Uptown Sports Club (therefore the present name) beneath son Ron Hernandez. Arnold died in 2000 and Ron had planned on reopening the organization afterward, but he died in 2014 in the course of a motorcycle accident.

Then, in 2016, Franklin, Moody, and Jason Jones (a lawyer in Fort Worth) purchased the historic developing, as reported by Austin Month-to-month by means of the Hernandez family members. Their intention was usually to open a sandwich-geared restaurant and bar, as Eater Austin uncovered in 2020. Moody, who is from New Orleans, and Franklin has family members from the state, according to Statesman. There was a point when the defunct developing had been flyered with what-turned-out-to-be fake indicators announcing that a Chili’s was going to open back in 2017 (see if you can obtain the Chili’s cap in the space).

A restaurant corner with a brick wall, an array of hanging sports pennants, and a large green plant on the floor.

A corner featuring sports pennants and plants at Uptown Sports Club.

Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

The resulting Uptown Sports Club is an all-day spot with a New Orleans-leaning meals and drinks menu (no reservations). Of the former, there are po’ boys created with bread from New Orleans bakery Leidenheimer Baking Business, with fillings like hot roast beef fried Gulf shrimp, fried green tomatoes and a club with roast beef, smoked turkey, and bacon. Then there’s a chicken and sausage gumbo with rice caviar served with New Orleans’s Zapp’s chips and red beans with rice. (Franklin has created each gumbo and pulled pork po’ boys for meals events in 2016 and 2017.) And, significantly like numerous restaurants opening these days, there’s a raw bar with seafood platters, East Coast oysters, and shrimp cocktails.

And then, drinks contain cocktails like the namesake Uptown with mezcal, sotol, yellow chartreuse, and a rosemary basic the Rope a Dop with gin, St. Germain, and an absinthe mist and the Corkscrew Punch with vodka, rum, and pineapple. The bar does serve classic New Orleans drinks like Sazeracs, Vieux Carre, and French 75s created with cognac. There’s a sturdy nonalcoholic cocktail displaying also, such as the No Hitter created with a boozeless whiskey, and the Low Blow with a nonalcoholic spirit that is a mix of allspice and cardamom.

There are also freezes — primarily slushies in flavor combinations like orange and cream cherry jubilee, and chicory and chocolate — that can be boozified, as a nod to New Orleans diner Camellia Grill, as reported by Statesman. Plus, per its daytime hours, there are coffees and teas, freshly squeezed juices, morning cocktails (such as a bloody mary created with a Franklin Barbecue spice rim), beers (such as a collaboration with Meanwhile Brewing), and wines by the glass and bottle.

A bowl of gumbo.

The gumbo at Uptown Sports Club.

Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

A sandwich.

A po’ boy from Uptown Sports Club.

Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

Pink cooked shrimp hanging out a glass of ice.

The shrimp cocktail at Uptown Sports Club.

Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

Rounding out the culinary group is chef de cuisine Rene Garza, who previously worked at sibling Mexican restaurant Suerte and its seafood counterpart Este. Then there’s bar manager Ericka Predmore (per Statesman) and bar consultant Robert Björn Taylor (who consulted on Moody’s other current bar Gear Space).

The space was redone by Tenaya Hills (who is Bunkhouse Group’s senior vice president of design and style and improvement), along with her design and style partners Rose Barnett and Paige Finley, plus Hsu Workplace of Architecture’s Michael Hsu and Ken Johnson. Moody approached Hills about functioning on the restaurant, which tends to make sense seeing as the two also worked on Bunkhouse hotel bar Gear Space (see above).

Provided the East Sixth Street building’s history, the design and style/building teams had to preserve numerous elements of the substantial structure. This played properly seeing that Hills essentially got her masters degree in historic preservation from the University of Texas at Austin.

“We wanted it to really feel like it is usually been right here,” Hills tells Eater in late March. “We wanted it to have the classic underlay, but we wanted to make it really feel like it had been remodeled more than the years. It really should have layers and layers and layers.” The group restored the windows, doors, and ceilings of the current structure.

There are no televisions, in spite of the quick assumption people today can make that it is a sports bar per the name. So in order to design and style the space, the teams leaned into the concept of sportsmanship. There are pennants on the walls, hanging boxing gloves, vintage photographs, and other connected objects,

A tiled floor that reads “be a sport.”

The entryway of Uptown Sports Club.

Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

The corner portion of the bar is an antique sourced from Philadelphia — the group replicated the rest of the wraparound bar. Likewise, the smaller sized booths along a wall are from Philadelphia as properly. Elsewhere, there are neon indicators announcing cocktails and sandwiches, loads of plants, a brick wall, mosaic tiles (such as at the entrance urging people today to “be a sport”), and person round red tables with gold trim.

This is not the initially Franklin-Moody group-up. That is their meals and music festival Hot Luck, along with Portland-primarily based Mike Thelin, which is essentially taking spot this week.

Also beneath Franklin’s belt is Asian smokehouse restaurant Loro with Uchi’s Tyson Cole, which has places in Austin, Dallas, and a forthcoming a single for Houston. He also has published a number of books about barbecuing and other reside-fire/meat cooking, with his most current a single, Franklin Smoke, which came out earlier this month.

Moody is also the owner of downtown music venue the Mohawk, and is the co-founder of branding corporation Guerilla Suit (which also did Uptown’s branding).

Uptown Sports Club is open from eight a.m. to two a.m. Wednesday by means of Monday. There are indoor and outside dine-in solutions.

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