Alba Huerta, the gifted mixologist and general manager of Anvil Bar & Refuge, will open her own bar early next year in partnership with the Anvil brain trust. She's calling it Julep, and it will be located at 1919 Washington Ave. in the former Corkscrew space.
Anvil co-owner Bobby Heugel has always said that he hoped some of his crew would go on to captain businesses of their own. So he's walking the walk by partnering on Julep with Huerta — whose title will be "Owner and Bar Director" —along with Hay Merchant's Kevin Floyd and Michael Burnett. (They're listed as Julep "Co-owners.")
Huerta, the current president of Houston's chapter of the U.S. Bartenders Guild, hopes to open by January of 2013. She's planning a food program with table service, outdoor seating and, in accordance with the Julep name, says Huerta, "bourbon. Lots of bourbon."
In the tradition of Anvil, Hay Merchant and Underbelly's reclamation of existing structures, the 1919 Washington space will get a redo that keeps an eye on history. The partners are promising a full kitchen, an interesting back room and a patio converted from a current garage that has wooden beams, brick and galvanized roofing.
At the same time Huerta and Heugel are launching a cocktail catering branch for Anvil, offering service for weddings, parties, private events, instructional classes and even the occasional pop-up bar.
Matt Tanner, who has been with Anvil since Day One, will be Anvil's new general manager.