Kitty Cohen’s: An Austin Style Pick
A Piece of Palm Beach Paradise in East Austin
by Sofia Sokolove
Photographs by Hayden Spears
EVEN IF YOU’VE YET to set foot in Kitty Cohen’s chances are you know what the Webberville Road bar looks like. Details like flamingo wallpaper, a baby grand piano and dishes of multi-colored Dum Dums lollipops scattered throughout make the new East Austin bar an Instagram goldmine. Which is a bit ironic, since owners Jeremy Murray and Erick Sanger sought design inspiration from those maybe least likely to be on Instagram: their grandmothers, great aunts and other rebellious women in their lives.
“We all had these wildly influential female characters in our lives,” says Murray of the 1970s Palm Beach bungalow vibes, “so it kind of grew out of that.” Design was a “hyper team effort” and pieces were sourced from everywhere — including Goodwill, Room Service Vintage and the homes of employees’ actual grandmothers. They even found a company that still makes atomic light fixtures to hang from the bar’s glittered popcorn ceiling. “People are dying to get rid of [popcorn ceilings], but we put one in,” Murray grins.
That level of retro-fun extends outside, to the lush patio and Kitty Cohen’s crowning jewel: a raised, concrete pool or “fountain” inspired by The Raleigh Hotel in Miami. “We thought it would be really cool and different in Austin to have this water feature that was risen in the center of the patio that we could kind of build around conceptually,” Murray explains.
The pool does more than just dictate the design for outside. It’s also designed for cooling off and lounging. So go ahead — grab a frozen drink and wade in. Kitty would approve. And when you’re ready to dry off, she’s stocked some iconic-looking white-and-blue-striped towels behind the bar for you.
2211 WEBBERVILLE RD.
Austin, TX 78702
Read more from the Nightlife Issue | August 2016