After helping breathe life into the downtown Austin cocktail scene as the general manager of the Townsend, Justin Elliott has departed the upscale bar to take on the role of general manager at Italian fine dining destination Juniper. The move marks a return to East Austin for Elliott, who ran the bar program at Qui until 2015 and was the general manager at Volstead and Hotel Vegas from 2011-2013.
Elliott worked with Juniper chef-partner Nic Yanes when the Italian restaurant held some early pop-ups at Qui, and when he heard the restaurant was looking for a new GM, he got back in touch with the chef and Uchi veteran.
“We had a really fun, long conversation about restaurants, management theory, menu narrative and semiotics,” said Elliott, who is taking on a GM role in a restaurant for the first time. “Things were good at the Townsend, but I just had this feeling like there was something else out there I needed to do. I desperately missed true restaurants service.”
With Elliott’s departure, Brian Bounds, whom Elliott trained for the last nine months, will take the reins at Townsend,
“Some of my cocktails will remain on the menu, and I hope and trust a lot of my systems and standards will remain. I’ve got a lot of faith in Brian to carry it along,” Elliott said.