RS3 Strategic Hospitality Adds Cork & Barrel to Portfolio
Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery Brings Irish Flair to Round Rock this Winter
ROUND ROCK, Texas – RS3 Strategic Hospitality is excited to add Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery to its ever-expanding portfolio of premier venues in Texas. Located at 4000 East Palm Valley Boulevard in Round Rock, the Irish gastropub will feature craft beers, house microbrews, a strong wine and mixology program and some of the best cuisine in the Austin area.
Owned and co-founded by RS3 Strategic Hospitality President Jay Kudla and Emerald Meadows Construction Owner and Operator, and Belfast, Ireland native, Sam Darlington, Cork & Barrel aims to capture the architecture, vibe and experience of an authentic Irish pub and combine it with the service and cuisine that has turned the greater Austin area into a food mecca. With a slogan of “Where Irish Flair Meets Texas Fare,” Cork & Barrel is bringing the flavors of Dublin to the heart of Central Texas this winter.
“The impetus behind our concept for the Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery was to bring a little bit of Dublin, Ireland to the suburbs of Round Rock, Georgetown, Pflugerville and Hutto,” Kudla said. “The Irish gastropub is intended to be a microcosm of Sam’s incredible life, a native son of Belfast who has spent half his life here and half his life in Ireland. We wanted to bring the beauty and ‘craic’ of an Irish pub and infuse it with Central Texan cuisine, the Live Music Capital of the World and the happy hour phenomenon. It was important to us to capture the ‘vibe’ of going to an Irish pub, but without the common clichés found in many other pubs.”
Cork & Barrel’s vast array of unique features includes a private, climate-controlled wine cellar, a one-acre beer garden and outdoor bar, an open-air pavilion with furniture and a fireplace, and the Chef’s Counter, where guests can sit in front of the Exhibition Kitchen and watch their meal being prepared live, complete with an 1,100-degree wood-fired oven that sits center stage.
Led by Austin native and California Culinary Academy graduate Executive Chef Josh K. Watkins, Cork & Barrel’s menu is set to feature wood-fired pizzas, tenderloin tartare with Nolan Ryan Beef, Cliffs of Moher mussels in a white wine sauce, dry-aged prime ribeye with roasted bone marrow and 24-hour short rib and pork belly sliders. A slate of signature sandwiches also includes the Kennedy Castro and the Count of Monte Cristo in addition to the Irish gastropub staple, Guinness-battered fish and chips.
“We’re innovating all things traditional in our Central Texan atmosphere and maintaining the heart and soul a comfortable Northern Ireland pub provides,” Watkins said. “We feel this is a great compliment to Round Rock.”
Cork & Barrel will feature 24 craft beers and four house microbrews available, as well as a dozen signature cocktails, including the Smoke & Fire Margarita and the Carrie Bradshaw Cosmo, made with fresh pureed watermelon. Director of Restaurants and Level 2 Sommelier Austin Markman will host regular educational seminars, tastings and beverage pairings with Watkins’ offerings.
“Cork & Barrel is an Irish gastropub, brewery and gathering spot for those who are looking to be transported away from Round Rock. This is a true nod to the life of Sam, born out of friendship and family,” Markman said. “The concept provides a unique environment of world-class food and unprecedented beverage selections in an atmosphere that is unlike anything in the area.”
Cork & Barrel is expected to open near the end of 2020. Full menus and a grand opening date will be announced in the near future. For more information and to stay up to date on the latest developments, visit CorkAndBarrelPub.com and follow Cork & Barrel on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
RS3 Strategic Hospitality currently operates the food and beverage services at nine other facilities in Texas, including Circuit of the Americas, Germania Insurance Amphitheater, Jimmy Clay Golf Course and Roy Kizer Golf Course in Austin, H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, Comerica Center in Frisco, Brushy Creek Amphitheater in Hutto, and Dell Diamond and the United Heritage Center in Round Rock.