East Austin dive bar Kellee’s Place is now La Holly, a  cantina concept


One of the last true dive bars that remained on East Sixth Street has transformed into a trendy cantina concept called La Holly, complete with a beer garden and small food truck courtyard outside.

At La Holly, now open, expect drinks that Austinites tend to love — agave-based cocktails and a small selection of local brews, both on tap and in cans and bottles.

The owner of Taco Flats, Simon Madera, took over the long-running Tejano bar Kellee’s Place after spending a few years slinging Mexico City-inspired tacos at his restaurant on Burnet Road. His East Austin project, announced last summer after he purchased Kellee’s, had originally been expected to be a restaurant similar to Taco Flats.

Instead, the grub will come from a pair of food trucks: Taco Flats’ airstream is housed in a small courtyard connected to La Holly, and the well-regarded Dee Dee's Thai Food Trailer has joined it.

Inside, La Holly serves as a “tribute to the neighborhood it's located in,” Madera said in a news release about the bar’s opening. “We're very fortunate to have the opportunity to take over a bar with that kind of history and significance.”

Kellee’s Place, a fixture on East Sixth since 1991, had been the sort of laid-back bar where Tejano music blasted from a jukebox and the beer was cheap.

Now, La Holly’s bar program will specialize in spirits from Mexico: tequila, mezcal and the harder-to-find sotol, raicilla and bacanora popular south of the border. Members of Madera’s Taco Flats team — Chris Nowles, Michael Vasko and Patrick O'Donnell — will help run the bar, as part owners of the project.

The interior design firm behind Taco Flats, McCray and Co., revamped the space to include low ceilings and custom furniture. La Holly also features TVs and a record player, according to the release.

Starting on Valentine’s Day, the bar is softly open from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. But starting on Feb. 16, La Holly will start having regular hours. It will be open 12 to 11 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 12 to 9 p.m. on Sundays at 2500 E. Sixth St.

RELATED STORIES:


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Austin360

Why Austin’s new H-Mart is a ‘grocery shopping game changer’
Why Austin’s new H-Mart is a ‘grocery shopping game changer’

Austin finally has an H-Mart. In two weeks, we’ll get 99 Ranch Market. H-Mart opened its first Austin store last week, and shoppers are still flocking there in droves. On Monday afternoon, the store was packed elbow-to-elbow. Addie Broyles / American-Statesman If you’ve ever lived in Houston or New...
Event: Taste of Black Austin Tuesday night offers flavor of Texas foodways
Event: Taste of Black Austin Tuesday night offers flavor of Texas foodways

The Greater Austin Black Chamber hosts the Taste of Black Austin Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Peached Social House. The tasting and reception “will trace the influence of food and farming in the preservation of black history and American culture” and feature food from about a dozen Austin chefs along with...
Exclusive: ‘Top Chef’ winner Kristen Kish will lead centerpiece restaurant at new Line ATX hotel
Exclusive: ‘Top Chef’ winner Kristen Kish will lead centerpiece restaurant at new Line ATX hotel

Austin will welcome a new face to its culinary landscape when the Line ATX hotel opens in the coming months. “Top Chef” season 10 winner Kristen Kish, who also will be recognizable to viewers of the Travel Channel’s “36 Hours,” will...
Get your ‘Hamilton’ tickets for Austin right now
Get your ‘Hamilton’ tickets for Austin right now

At last you have permission to order those “Hamilton” tickets for the once-in-a-generation musical that will stop in Austin at Bass Concert Hall for three weeks in 2019. Michael Luwoye and Isaiah Johnson in the ‘Hamilton’ national tour. Contributed by Joan Marcus The happy catch? To secure those tickets beginning...
Sylvester Stallone assures fans he is 'alive and well' after death hoax goes viral
Sylvester Stallone assures fans he is 'alive and well' after death hoax goes viral

Actor Sylvester Stallone is the victim of a death hoax. A rumor claiming that the 71-year-old actor had passed away recently surfaced on social media — and he was not happy about it. >> Read more trending news  Stallone took to Twitter to express his annoyance. “Please ignore the stupidity,” the &ldquo...
More Stories