FIRST LOOK AT ALAMO’S NEW MUELLER THEATER
Activities are tailored to kids and adults; theaters feature reclining chairs.
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.”
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.
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.