FIRST LOOK AT ALAMO’S NEW MUELLER THE­ATER

Ac­tiv­i­ties are tai­lored to kids and adults; the­aters fea­ture re­clin­ing chairs.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Ari­anna Au­ber aauber@states­man.com

The new Alamo Draft­house Cin­ema in Austin’s Mueller de­vel­op­ment is gear­ing up to open with a fo­cus on kid-friendly ac­tiv­i­ties by day and more adult-cen­tric fun by night — in ad­di­tion to of­fer­ing six the­aters with re­clin­ing chairs, gen­der-neu­tral bath­rooms and plenty of val­i­dated garage park­ing.

Alamo Draft­house Mueller, the com­pany’s sixth Austin lo­ca­tion, is at 1911 Aldrich St. in the Mueller town cen­ter known as the Aldrich Street Dis­trict. It will open Thurs­day for the gen­eral pub­lic.

Film fans will likely love the sec­ond-story walk to each of the the­aters; as with other lo­ca­tions, the Alamo Draft­house has decked out the long hall­way with film posters and other wall art.

But for many vis­i­tors, the big­gest high­light will be the car­ni­val-themed Barrel O’ Fun space on the ground floor, which the com­pany is aim­ing two very dif­fer­ent au­di­ences.

By day, the Barrel O’ Fun — the en­trance to which is, in fact, shaped like a barrel — pro­vides fam­ily friendly fun; by night, start­ing at 8 p.m., the place trans­forms into a bar the com­pany has dubbed Bar O’ Fun. But there are el­e­ments of the hang­out that

peo­ple of all ages are likely to en­joy.

For in­stance, the room has func­tion­ing board­walk games, such as Eggs in a Bas­ket, Chunk the Puck and Toss Off. One side of the barrel-shaped drinks menu at Barrel O’ Fun is en­tirely non­al­co­holic, but they aren’t your typ­i­cal Coke and Dr. Pep­per of­fer­ings. In­stead, even adults might grav­i­tate to­ward house-made so­das like the Cherry-Lime Rickey (cherry syrup, lime and seltzer) and floats and ice cream so­das like the Snick­er­doo­dle (gin­ger beer and Mex­i­can cin­na­mon ice cream).

Flip over the menu for the al­co­holic po­tions. The pro­gram, orig­i­nally de­signed by the Alamo Draft­house’s bev­er­age di­rec­tor Bill Nor­ris, takes a fo­cus on barrel-aged cock­tails, high­balls and flips.

“We went with a soda foun­tain theme, so there’s a lot of re­ally cool kind of throw­back-in­spired (non­al­co­holic) cock­tails,” said bar man­ager Ryan Hol­low­ell. “We make our own syrups in-house, re­ally beau­ti­ful black cherry soda, awe­some tra­di­tional Brook­lyn-style egg creams as well. At night, we took all of those ideas and tran­si­tioned them into cock­tail menus. Our high­balls are all based on those syrups, those home­made nat­u­ral elixirs and tinc­tures that we’re work­ing with, as well as adult egg creams and milk­shakes.”

At night, a stage at the far end of Bar O’ Fun will en­liven the space with D J sets and bands. The games will be avail­able to play in the later hours as well. Food in­cludes a fo­cus on wood as well, with items like wood­planked broc­col­ini (ched­dar cheese po­lenta and woodroasted broc­col­ini).

The up­stairs the­aters — which range in size from 43-per­son to 136-per­son rooms, all with re­clin­ing seats — will also have their own food and drink menus. The food side, in par­tic­u­lar, is go­ing to have new items, with­out aban­don­ing fan fa­vorites.

“We def­i­nitely are hold­ing onto a lot of the clas­sics here that we’ve been suc­cess­ful with in the past, but to be re­ally hon­est, we no­ticed there was cer­tain ar­eas of our menu that we wanted to up­date,” Alamo chef Trish Eichel­berger said. “This fa­cil­ity is a re­ally great place to start test­ing and up­dat­ing, mak­ing an ef­fort to be even more hands-on, to have an even more from­scratch menu.”

PHO­TOS BY RI­CARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Vis­i­tors tour the Barrel O’ Fun on Wed­nes­day in the new Alamo Draft­house Cin­ema in Austin’s Mueller de­vel­op­ment. The room has games such as Eggs in a Bas­ket, Chunk the Puck and Toss Off. At night, the room be­comes the Bar O’ Fun with DJ sets and bands for adults.

Alamo Draft­house Mueller, at 1911 Aldrich St. in the Mueller town cen­ter known as the Aldrich Street Dis­trict, will open to the pub­lic Thurs­day.

RI­CARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Alamo’s Barrel O’ Fun and Bar O’ Fun space holds up to 160 peo­ple. Drinks in­clude house­made so­das like the Cherry-Lime Rickey and floats and ice cream so­das. Al­co­hol of­fer­ings fo­cus on barrel-aged cock­tails, high­balls and flips.

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