"It was very important to us to stay in Uptown, the neighborhood we started in and that supported us" Gerhard says when he talks about the relocation of D Bar from 1475 E. 17th Avenue to 494 E 19th Avenue. The new location, set in the One City Block Apartments building, is only a mile away from the old digs and sprawls over 4,100 square feet, over three times the size of the original D Bar.
The main reason behind the relocation was the space constraints both in the dining room and the kitchen. But the frustrations that grew out of not being able to accommodate more guests as well as expand the food offerings are now gone. There are 99 seats inside with an additional 32 coming on the upcoming patio and the state-of-the-art kitchen will allow Gerhard and his wife and partner Lisa Bailey to play with many sweet and savory options.
Drinks. Dining. Dessert. is what D Bar stands for and guests of the restaurant will be able to experience all of those in a space that retains the jewel-box-like charm of the old location. The design was entrusted to Melissa Friday of Xan Creative who has created the looks of restaurants like Ace, Sugarmill, and Snooze AM Eatery. She brought to life a restaurant that is modern, airy, yet intimate on a base of light blue with natural wood accents and carefully chosen details over distinct spaces that meld together yet remain separate. There's a bar area, a dining room, and a retail space, each of which serve specific functions in a fluid and comfortable way.
What should you expect from the food? Old D Bar favorites like the Lobster Mac 'n Cheese or the Cake 'n Shake will be available alongside newer dishes like the Short Rib Raviolo, the Butternut Squash Risotto with Mushrooms and Cocoa-Encrusted Scallop, and the Pie-Spice Souffle with Beignes and Cream Cheese Frosting.
A highlight of the new D Bar will be its ice creams and sorbets, stored in an Italian-imported case that allows for very specific temperature controls. Another fun new feature: the cake finishing station where pastry chefs will decorate their creations in a spot that allows guests to witness the art that goes into it.
After it opens on November 28, D Bar will be serve lunch from 11:30 a.m. till 3 p.m. with dinner service beginning at 5 p.m. Between 3 and 5 p.m., a limited happy hour menu will be offered consisting of some D Bar favorites with special prices. Brunch will be served on weekends and breakfast pastries will be available in the retail area every morning. Coffee drinks as well as a selection of pre-packaged items will also be available in this retail area that has its own entry. D Bar will be closed on Mondays.
What is next for Keegan Gerhard and Lisa Bailey? A third D Bar in Austin!