Trying to describe the clientele at his new Spicewood-area restaurant and bar, founding partner Jeremy Murray said he has seen every type of automobile—from Maseratis to semitrailers—in the parking lot.

Proof and Cooper has a menu that can appeal to everyone, chef Russell Dougherty said. He said the fare is picnic-style food taken to an artisan level.

“It’s comfortable food, not comfort food,” Dougherty said.

Since opening July 4 weekend, the most popular item ordered has been the fried chicken. The restaurant also serves hamburgers, ribs and catfish.

Dougherty came to Proof and Cooper from a restaurant on South Congress Avenue, and Murray and two other founding partners also own Blackheart in downtown Austin and Bar Twenty Two Eleven in East Austin.

Proof and Cooper Founding partner Jeremy Murray said he thought of the name Proof and Cooper years ago and wrote it down, saving it for the future. He said the other founders loved the name.[/caption]

Proof and Cooper Proof and Cooper’s calm setting mixes indoor and outdoor amenities. Murray said he hopes to bring more events and live music to the outdoor patio.[/caption]

“It’s really a peaceful thing for us, finding something not as chaotic,” Murray said of the new venue located at the intersection of Hamilton Pool Road and RR 12. “It’s really beautiful out here.”

Murray said the neighbors have been friendly, including a farmer who lives next door and frequently brings in fresh produce for Dougherty to experiment with, adding local flavor to the menu.

The restaurant offers a monthly supper club with off-menu dishes and drink pairings. The program began in late September. After customers expressed interested in the program, Murray said he added a second consecutive night to the event.

Proof and Cooper features a full bar and live music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Murray said he plans to add a whiskey library and whiskey locker system to the site.

The whiskey library and locker will offer whiskey aficionados a place to source, store and serve whiskeys from throughout the world, including about 140 whiskeys stocked upstairs. Murray said he hopes to open both this winter, with plans to offer distillery tours and whiskey tastings in the spring.


Proof: The proof is a measurement of the alcohol in a beverage. Proof is twice the alcohol by volume, or ABV. The average whiskey proof is 80, and the ABV is 40 percent.

Cooper: A cooper is someone who builds wooden casks and barrels for aging spirits. Much of the flavor of whiskey comes from the “cooperage”—the barrel it is aged in.