From initial conception, the idea behind the pub was to create a spot the owners themselves would like to hang out. Founder Sam Darlington, native son of Belfast, Ireland and local Texan resident for the past 30 years, envisioned it as the perfect blend of an Irish Pub experience and Central Texan cuisine, while bringing the iconic Austin outdoor beer garden north to Round Rock. Mission accomplished.
Opening in the spring of 2021, the Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery is an authentic and historical Irish pub experience with Texas modernism, innovation and hospitality, featuring our proprietary scratch menu, signature mixology, onsite microbrewery, and one of the best outdoor experiences in Central Texas. This is a place for "Storytelling", for enjoying the sights, sounds, & flavors blended with the serenity of an outdoor grove and "floating" fireplaces. Reserve the private wine cellar, or hole up in one of the four authentic Irish snugs. Or sit at the Chef's Counter, and watch Executive Chef Josh Watkins prepare your meal in front of you.
The overall vibe blends Austin-chic in the dining room and Chef's Counter with industrial décor indicative of an Irish pub, with many subtle historical nuances throughout. It's the ideal setting to meet up, wine and dine, drink a pint, enjoy live music, or watch a favorite sports team on one of the 13 indoor and outdoor TVs.
In short..we're here to have fun...or what the Irish call "The Craic". Sláinte.
Meet The Team
Fittingly, it all began in a pub. Jay Kudla, President of RS3 Strategic Hospitality and veteran in the sports & entertainment hospitality industry, and Sam Darlington, owner and operator of Emerald Meadows Construction and native of Ireland whose relatives were riveters on the HMS Titanic in Belfast, were working together on an RS3 renovation project in January 2018. That night, over pints of Guinness, the two close friends and colleagues...more
- Certified Sommelier
- Director of Restaurants
A Texas native and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of the Arts, Austin Markman oversees Cork & Barrel’s management staff as the director of restaurants. Markman’s goal is to create a welcoming culture and attentive mindset by empowering the team to provide unprecedented levels of hospitality to Round...more
Cork & Barrel’s Executive Chef Josh K. Watkins is an Austin native who’s been hands-on in the kitchen since the age of 15. Throughout his culinary career, he’s risen from a homegrown chef to opening several restaurant concepts, and he brings his cultivated passion for food to the Round Rock area with the opening of the Irish gastropub.
A graduate from the California Culinary Academy (CCA),...more