The talented drinksmith can't stay too long in an uninspired bar -- do you think young Brian Flanagan would have ever shackled himself to some lame, cookie-cutter tavern called "Cocktails and Dreams"? God that would have been stupid of him. Breaking the chains of dull drinking, the guys behind Crow Bar.
Run by two longtime-friend veteran barkeeps bored with quick-pouring wells at live music venues, CB is a cocktail-slinging dive decked out with crow imagery, a copper-stained bartop, and pool tables, run out of an 85-year-old South Austin space that formerly housed a Mexican resto, gun range, church, and brothel, a transition that saw them go from Sister Acts to Making Whoopi. The monthly-rotating selection will feature 16 concoctions at a time, starting with numbers ranging from the Crow's Feet (bourbon, lemon juice, OJ, grenadine, soda) to the white creme de cacao/ gin/ maraschino/ half-and-half Crow's Kiss, which fortunately doesn't taste like undying vengeance, and white face-paint that doesn't make you look dead so much as it makes you look like you're in a band. The potential opening roster's filled out by the likes of the Deacon (sloe gin, grapefruit juice, simple syrup, soda), the Devil's Tail (gold/white rum, vodka, lime juice, grenadine, apricot liqueur), the Kojak (vodka, maraschino, cointreau, lime juice, grenadine), and the vodka/Frangelico/Irish Cream "Russian Quaalude", a prescription that in Russia is just "vodka".
There are also flights of three 4oz mixes offered for the price of a single cocktail, helping indecisive tipplers live up to Coughlin's most important Law: "Anything else is always something better". Unless it's a bar to be franchised in every suburban shopping mall. Pull it together, young Flanagan.