Story by Melyssa Fairfield
Photos by Yanhuan Ji
416 Bar and Grille may not demand attention from the side of the road, but the interior and menu offer a neighborhood-friendly experience and “no frills good food” in central Austin.
The restaurant, which opened in February, serves specialty cocktails, small and large plates, burgers and sandwiches, breakfast all day and weekend brunch. John Jurey and his son Colin Jurey own and run the restaurant, where they bring inspiration from their own food experiences in all corners of the United States.
John Jurey describes the food at 416 as Americana. “I’ve been all over the United States, from Washington D.C. to San Francisco to Los Angeles to Philadelphia to Florida, so [the menu] is kind of a culmination of my career,” he says.
Jurey worked in the food industry in California, where he says he was involved in an early stage of the food truck industry. “Originally, most of the food truck thing started out in Los Angeles, and they called them catering trucks,” he says. “They looked like little boxes on the back of a truck where the doors would pop open on each side.”
But Jurey opted out of Austin’s food truck craze, because, he says jokingly, that he “was too big to stand up in one.” Aside from that obvious drawback, Jurey says he wants his restaurant to have a comfortable neighborhood feel to local guests. Plus, the elegance of the brick-and-mortar wouldn’t translate on a truck.
The restaurant boasts unusual combinations like the shrimp and asparagus pancakes with lemon dill butter. The savory pancakes are light and fluffy on the inside and speckled with bits of shrimp and asparagus throughout. They arrive perfectly brown and crisp around the edges with dabs of tangy lemon dill butter beginning to melt on top.
Another appetizer, the braised pork sliders, embraces the juxtaposition of savory and sweet. The sliders come with two per order, each with a hefty stack of braised pork slices sitting atop lettuce, tomato and onions on fresh, toasted buns. The mahogany sauce slathered on the meat adds a sweet element to balance the salty and tender pork.
The restaurant offers a few vegetarian and vegan options as well, including the grilled portobello mushroom burger. The burger consists of grilled slices of portobello mushrooms under a grilled ring of pineapple, all resting on a leaf of lettuce and topped with teriyaki sauce. In true Austin spirit, 416 Bar and Grille also serves up local desserts from Burnet Road, including Amy’s Ice Creams, Hey Cupcake! and Tiny Pies.
Jurey believes his restaurant is different than others because it is designed to approach multiple types of customers looking for different dining experiences. “I designed it and had a vision for it as the kind of place I really like and would search out anytime I moved to a new place,” Jurey says. “It has a comfortable bar, with affable people running it that I could sit and get a burger if I wanted, or go sit and have a full, nice dining experience with a great bottle of wine. Or if I wanted breakfast anytime, I could get that.”
416 Bar and Grille is located on 5011 Burnet Road #150 and is open Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight; Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to midnight. Happy hour includes discount cocktails and appetizers from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Find them online at 416barandgrille.com.