New eatery on Sixth wants customers to slow down, stay awhile
Easy Tiger opened on Monday to much fanfare and many clinking pint glasses. The new eatery, which is owned and operated by the same minds behind 24 Diner on Lamar, got started early in the morning for those wishing to start their day with a freshly baked pastry, and stayed open late for those wishing to end their day with a cold beer.
Evelyn Sher, a partner of ELM, the group which started 24 Diner, said her group hadn’t even considered the possibility of opening a combination bakeshop and beer garden.
“We hadn’t planned to merge the two ideas until we saw the space on East Sixth Street,” Sher said.
“Having a bake shop at the street level and the beer garden below, with its immense patio overlooking Waller Creek, just fit the spot—and the two ideas really came together at that point”
The restaurant is headed up by David Norman, the artisan baker whose work has taken him all over the country. Billy Caruso, the drink slinger who has unparched many palettes at 24 Diner. Andrew Curran, a Culinary Institute of Austin valedictorian whom some may recognize from a run on last fall’s Top Chef: Texas, and rounding out the cast of characters behind the new eatery is Veronica Koltuniak who has worked as a designer for Madonna, Courtney Cox and, closer to home, 24 Diner. Her touch can be seen in the pink and black cameo wallpaper and the hand lettered windows that face Sixth Street.
On Monday night, diners snacked on a variety of artisan sausages and pastries and washed them down with a selection from Easy Tiger’s vast collection of craft beers. The menu is moderately priced with sausages running for abut $7 and most beers falling between $4 and $7.
Yvonne Shakir, Easy Tiger’s general manager, said she was pleased with the first day’s turn out.
“Anticipation for this place to open has been long-coming,” Shakir said. “We had a regular following at 24 Diner which has been really amazing. really good word of mouth has gotten us out there and where we are now.”
The restaurant’s launch was not without its share of obstacles though. The building that houses Easy Tiger is one of the oldest on Sixth Street and is a historically preserved site, so before any hammers could be swung or screws turned, there were plenty of hoops to jump through. Downstairs, where the beer garden sits, one can see the massive braces that support the ceiling right where the two huge ovens sit upstairs.
The ovens are put to good use by Norman and his team, whose work day usually begins at 10 p.m. and doesn’t wrap up until about 10 a.m. the next day. This means freshly baked bread for the morning crowd and one twisted sleep schedule for Norman.
“It’s kind of crazy because we have two young kids at home,” Norman said. “I’ve done this before with night shifts but right now is kind of crazy.”
Easy Tiger’s bakery is open from 7 a.m.-2 a.m. and the beer garden is open from 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.