• 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.

Event hosts can choose whether the view rotates or stays put.

The iconic Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas will soon welcome a new restaurant, Crown Block steakhouse. Reunion Tower restaurants have been renown over the years for their slowly rotating view of the city. However, owners and husband-wife business partners Kim Canteenwalla and Elizabeth Blau have chosen to keep the dining area stationary. The previous restaurant, Wolfgang Puck’s Five Sixty, spun 360 degrees, but it closed in 2020 during the pandemic.


The historic Austin hotel, The Driskill, has appointed Nori Meisner to its staff as historic tour guide and special events concierge. In her new role, Meisner will bring to life the stories of the hotel, which was built by cattle baron Colonel Jesse Driskill in 1886. Among the many memories she’ll share with guests on the history tour is the first date between former President Lyndon B. Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird. The two met over breakfast on that fateful day.


When it comes to meeting at the Austin Convention Center, the numbers are forever in your favor. Let’s start with six. That’s how many full city blocks the convention center extends in the heart of the downtown business district. Or 12,000—the number of hotel rooms within a two-mile radius of the venue. Twenty-thousand is how many wireless devices that can be simultaneously connected, ensuring all of your guests won’t miss a meeting, Zoom call, presentation or email.