Billy-Joe Hunt and his wife Suzanne opened their business in October 2020 to not simply run a restaurant but also a bar and lounge that pays homage to the big-city boutique hotels and bars Hunt said he grew up around in his hometown. The style of the venue, with its art deco color scheme, pulls heavily from the 1920s, Hunt said.
“When I was a kid both my mom and dad were bartenders in New York City,” Hunt said. “I would hang out in their bar playing pool and pinball while my mom and dad worked. These were neighborhood bars. There was something very authentic and so very cool about it.”
The Gramercy brings this big-city aesthetic to Lakeway, Hunt said.
“When people come in here, they are sort of taken aback by the look and feel. They say, ‘this is not another local watering hole, this is unexpected.’ That is how we knew we nailed it,” he said.
On the menu at The Gramercy are some local favorites, like the Crispy Cauliflower and the Braised Short Rib. But the Hunts also feature classic bar drinks like the French 75, Sazerac and the drink made popular by James Bond author Ian Fleming, the Vesper. The bar drinks, Hunt said, require a level of skill and consistency that has proven challenging.
“I’ve always managed–from small teams to large organizations,” he said. “But I had to learn how to operate a bar.”
In the past year, Hunt said The Gramercy has become known as a good spot to host events. For example, the Lake Travis Film Festival recently hosted a script reading at The Gramercy. Other groups come to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays. Groups of 20 or 25 people coming to the restaurant plays well with his concept, Hunt said.
He and his wife designed the menu, bar offerings and service with the idea that patrons will have an experience and not just a meal, Hunt said. The Gramercy
1516 RM 620 South, Ste. 200, Lakeway
Hours: Tue.-Thu. 4 p.m.-midnight;
Fri.-Sat. 4 p.m.-1 a.m.; Mon. closed