Irish pub Darcy’s Donkey coming to old Austin Java space on Barton Springs Road

For a city that loves a pint and some craic as much as we do, it’s surprising Austin has such a small number of Irish pubs.

A selection of food at Darcy’s Donkey. (Contributed by Chris Olfers)

Neville Joyce is hoping to change that. The County Gallway native is opening Irish pub Darcy’s Donkey in the coming weeks in the old Austin Java space at 1608 Barton Springs Road.

Joyce is a longtime veteran of the hospitality industry, having worked in Ireland, France and Italy before a stint opening pubs for other folks in the D.C. area. He moved to Austin about a decade ago and has worked at Trufy’s and as the opening general manager at Banger’s. Now, he’s opening his first place.

The kitchen will be helmed by chef Ryan Durham, who will put his energies and talents into “elevating the humble potato.” According to a release, the menu will feature six different variations on the potato, as well as traditional Irish meat pies with fillings like house-smoked pastrami and a truffled-mushroom filling.

Expect ales, stouts, lagers, whiskeys, craft cocktails, football and Gaelic games (and the Horns) on the televisions and live music inside and outside. Darcy’s Donkey, the name is taken from the recognizable Irish name Darcy and the Donkey Derby Championships, of which Joyce is apparently a multi-time champion, plans to open in early October.

Austin Java has seen quite a bit of change in the last year. The original location off Lamar Boulevard closed last fall after 20 years and the most visible location on Barton Springs Road closed this year. But with closures have come new beginnings, as Austin Java has opened locations at the Met Center on Metropolis and in San Marcos and Dripping Springs, with a location scheduled to open soon at 5404 Manchaca Road.