Julie Smith opened for business in December and said at first, she thought having a bar alongside her design retail shop would help customers have a more relaxed experience while checking out the design concepts within the store. But, she said, the business has evolved a little bit differently from her expectations.
Smith said she started the bar thinking she would serve maybe five to 10 drinks a day, but then she met her annual projections for alcohol sales in her first 30 days of business.
Smith said she has owned many businesses since she opened her first design-focused establishment in Bismarck, North Dakota, in 1993. Jules Design Bar represents her 14th business, 10th retail store and first bar.
Prior to landing in Bee Cave permanently in 2017, Smith ran stores in several locations, including in North Dakota and Arizona.
After moving to the Austin area, Smith said she initially began looking for work at established businesses, but then she discovered the location she now operates at the Hill Country Galleria. It was previously a candy store, she said, adding that a back bar already in the space inspired her creativity as a renovation specialist.
“I renovated that back bar, and then I added this full bar,” Smith said. “And so I thought, ‘You know, won’t it be nice for my design clients to have a cocktail while we’re talking about interior design.”
True to the design-centered theme of her business, Smith said Jules Design Bar is also just as focused on the presentation of the cocktails sold there.
“We smoke our Old-Fashioneds, and we present them all in really beautiful, heavy crystal glassware,” Smith said. “So, a lot of people come here just to see our glassware, because it’s all beautiful stuff.”
12700 Hill Country Blvd., Ste. T110, Bee Cave
Hours: Tue.-Wed. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Thu.-Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. noon-8 p.m., closed Mon.