If you’ve lived in Austin for even a minute, you’ve heard about the Alamo Drafthouse, however if you’ve lived in Austin and never heard of Flix Brewhouse, then that is about to change. Many Austinites find making the long trip to Round Rock (technically less than 20 miles) only necessary for the occasional Round Rock Express Game or the obligatory trips to Ikea.
With Round Rock consistently ranked as one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities, Flix Brewhouse is poised with a great location and even greater amenities than your average theater. Even though the theater is still not yet as widely known, Flix Brewhouse celebrates its one year anniversary this month and Austin Fusion Magazine wanted to share this hot spot that needs to be on your radar.
Flix is the world’s only First Run Movie Theater and Microbrewery. The bar boasts 47 taps, 8 of which are brewed in-house by Justin Rizza, formerly of Independence Brewing and the man behind their Saison and Stash IPA. Flix definitely holds the title for best craft beer selection in Round Rock with a majority of local breweries represented. Not only do the taps consist of such local favorites like Jester King, 512, Twisted X, and more, Flix also offers local home brewers the opportunity to feature their own creations, brewed in-house with a monthly Homebrew competition.
In addition to an amazing beer selection, Flix Brewhouse offers a vast food menu ranging from salads and pizzas to full entrees, including vegetarian and gluten free items. As for the movies, Flix features six theaters all with digital projection, wall-to-wall curved screens and Dolby 7.1 digital sound and all 808 seats equipped for in-theater dining. Their ticketing system is more of a “Southwest style” where the time of your ticket purchase determines your class for seating (A,B,C, etc.) No need to stand in line for ever for a good seat. All you have to do is buy early. Did we mention that they have handy slide out dining trays and ambient lighting so you can actually see your food and pay your bill?
We sat down with general manager Michael Parish to discuss what they’ve learned from the past year and what the future holds for Flix Brewhouse.
AFM: How did the idea for Flix Brewhouse come about?
MP: Flix is owned by Hospitality Investors, a local company that owns a few other hospitality related businesses in the area, including our neighbor, Homefield Grill. We kind of came about because we’ve all lived in Austin forever and we were all very familiar with the Alamo Drafthouse and the way they do business and we started thinking of ways that we could do it just a little bit better.
AFM: You’re always going to be compared to Alamo because you’re in the same city and the same concept. I know you’ve done improvements on that model, but what other things are you working on now to take it to the next level?
MP: Well, besides constantly monitoring our services we take guest feedback incredibly seriously. One of the advantages of being small and our only location as well as being locally owned is we don’t have to run any changes we do to the service model thirty rungs up a ladder. Between me and my V.P. of Operations, we can pretty much decide right then and there on changes. So, you could say we’re just trying to stay ahead of the game in that sense.
AFM: So, a little different from Alamo’s cult classics and first-runs, Flix offers more blockbusters along with some family movies. Because it is Round Rock, more suburban, and family-oriented, is that what you’re trying to stay focused on?
MP: It’s a very delicate balance. With it being in Round Rock we certainly can’t ignore the kid’s movies that come out like Brave or Madagascar, but in a way we still want to cater to the parents. We do operate with an age restriction very similar to Alamo’s. One of the advantages we have is we’re very connected with our clientele. We’re up in Round Rock where there’s a more business casual kind of feel. We’re chock full of Dell people. We try to cater to that crowd. We’re trying to make it as personal to Round Rock as possible.
AFM: As you go forward are you looking to participate in any film festivals, or special events?
MP: In terms of location, like for instance with SXSW, it’s a little far away, but we’d like to bring some of that crowd up here. It’s something that we inquired about last year, but were too late. So, we’re going to start getting involved with it soon for next year. If it’s something we can do, we will definitely do. There’s something about SXSW’s niche-type crowds that will be excited to watch a movie at a theater that brews their own beer, especially for out-of-towners.
Flix is celebrating their First Anniversary this month with special anniversary brews as well as an upcoming Batman marathon in advance of the The Dark Knight Rises release on July 20, complete with full 5-course meal and midnight showings.Happy Birthday to you, Flix and many more!
Check www.flixbrewhouse.com for the latest showtimes and special events.