• Austin’s Second Bar + Kitchen expands into Congress Hall, offers private event space

    POSTED February 28, 2017
  • Austin’s Second Bar + Kitchen expands into Congress Hall, offers private event space

    POSTED February 28, 2017
  • Austin’s Second Bar + Kitchen expands into Congress Hall, offers private event space

    POSTED February 28, 2017

If you haven’t treated yourself to a meal (or pastries, oh, the pastries!) at Second Bar + Kitchen in Austin yet, then stop what you are doing. This downtown fixture driven by critically acclaimed executive chef David Bull offers a lovely and eclectic mix of small and large plates, with evolving menus for brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert.

Personally, I could stop at 200 Congress Avenue and dine on “bacon and eggs” every day—Second Bar + Kitchen’s version with crisp pork belly, poached egg, frisee, orange and maple gastrique topped with croutons. But I couldn’t leave without a dessert of brown butter tart, complete with pickled plums, mint marigold and vanilla ice cream.

Just as exciting, however, is the news that Second Bar + Kitchen’s downtown location has expanded into Congress Hall and will now host private dining, special events and overflow seating.

La Corsha Hospitality Group, an Austin-based management and consulting company, is behind the opening of Congress Hall, and we couldn’t be happier to see tired ol’ Congress Hall get some love.

The interior has been redesigned by Sara Cukerbaum of Slic Interiors and echoes the aesthetic of Second Bar + Kitchen with brass fixtures, blue satin walls and marble tables. It’s now a modern, versatile space and the waterfall bar-height tables in the bar give visitors a great view onto Congress Avenue.

Complete with a private entrance and valet, the following spaces at Congress Hall are now available for booking:

* Congress Hall: The space can seat up to 70 people for a sit-down event and up to 100 as a reception. Guests may choose to order off the Second Bar + Kitchen menu or work with the team to create customized menus.

* Private Dining Room: Within Congress Hall, a private dining room seats up to 12 guests for small dinners or meetings.

* Second Bar: The connecting bar between Second Bar + Kitchen and Congress Hall, formerly Bar Congress, accommodates semi-private parties with a full food and beverage menu. White marble tables accommodate 16 guests plus an additional eight bar seats.

Take note of the restaurant’s other locations, too. There’s Second Bar + Kitchen, The Domain Northside, and soon there will be a Second Bar + Kitchen near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday recommended that all gatherings of more than 50 people be cancelled or postponed for the next eight weeks, in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The recommendation covers events like parades, concerts, festivals, conferences, sporting events, weddings and more.


Built at the turn of the 20th century, Mattie’s at Green Pastures was once the estate of Henry and Martha “Mattie” Miner Faulk. In 1946, Faulk’s daughter Mary and Mary’s husband Chester Koock opened the fine dining restaurant Green Pastures at the address, and over the years, they hosted lavish parties and grand occasions for celebrities, governors and visiting dignitaries. Mary Koock also catered many parties at the Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch.


When you want to escape the lingering Texas heat for a few days in the fall, but you don’t really want to head north to more blustery conditions, Sonoma or Monterey, located northeast and south of San Francisco respectively, are fabulous options for short retreats or group getaways. And, lucky for you, if you live in or near Dallas, both destinations have direct flights from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, making your trip stress-free.

Wine Country: Three Days in Sonoma County