“The goal here is to be here for a long time, so we have to focus on the details,” Taylor said.
For Taylor and his team, that meant taking feedback from patrons seriously and giving them just what they want, especially when it comes to the pub grub classics they expect Vincent’s to get right. While the pub’s beer selection is important, Taylor said the goal was to be “a sports pub with great food.”
For the gumbo that he now calls a menu standard, Taylor said he and his staff listened to the suggestions and critiques of New Orleans transplants who frequent the pub and went through several iterations of the dish before arriving at the recipe Vincent’s offers today. Vincent’s also tweaked its methods for cooking its wings around four times before arriving at the recipe served today—the specifics of which Taylor keeps closely guarded, but said involve a brine and an oven.
Some menu items that became classics took the staff by surprise, such as an 8-ounce chicken-fried steak planned to be a winter special before it continued selling through the summer months.
“It became super popular, so we just held onto it,” Taylor said. The same was true for the gumbo.
As important as Vincent’s menu is its atmosphere, Taylor said. Taking some notes from Moontower Saloon—a South Austin spot which, like Vincent’s, is co-owned by Richard Veregge, Josh Bumb and his father, Vincent’s namesake Larry Vincent Bumb—Vincent’s features steel and wood designs with custom-made booths and light fixtures, with table lengths all elevated to the same height to give a bar-like feel. Taylor said the goal was to create an “Irish darkwood tavern” ambiance.
Vincent’s entered the South Austin scene with buzz due to its association with Moontower. Taylor said that initial heat would have counted for little if Vincent’s did not meet the public’s high expectations, and that as important as satisfying the palates of the public was making them feel at home. Taylor said he values his staff’s dedication to getting to know the pub’s many “frequent fliers.”
“We owe a great deal of our success to those people,” he said.
Vincent’s Sports Pub
8916 Brodie Lane, Ste. 100, Austin
Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 a.m., 21 and up on weekends and after 3 p.m. Mon.-Fri.