One of Austin's most beloved restaurants has long-term plans to expand to Houston. Kerbey Lane Cafe is looking to the Bayou City for its first locations outside of the Austin area, CEO Mason Ayer stated at a forum hosted by the Austin Business Journal.
Kerbey Lane has seven locations around Austin, four of which are open 24 hours per day. Over its 40-year history, the restaurant has earned acclaim for its extensive menu of over-the-top pancakes, as well as signature dishes like Kerbey Queso. Houston's proximity to Austin makes it a natural fit for Kerbey Lane to expand, Ayer stated.
"The word that comes to mind is 'terrified,'" Ayer said about the plans. "But it's something we feel we have to do. We are getting a little saturated here. Doing that first one in a new market will be the toughest one.”
In response to CultureMap's request for a comment, a representative states the restaurant has neither a specific timeline for the plan nor any neighborhoods in mind. However, Ayer told CultureMap in 2015 that he would like to see expansion "in the next five years." Also, Ayer said at the forum that he's sought advice from Pluckers Wing Bar co-owner Sean Greenberg, which is another Austin-based restaurant that's successfully expanded to Houston.
Kerbey Lane would join the seemingly never ending wave of Austin-based restaurants that make their way to Houston. In the last week alone, James Beard award winner Paul Qui announced plans to open a restaurant in the Montrose neighborhood, fancy burger joint Hopdoddy revealed the opening date for its second Houston-area location in Rice Village, and Ramen Tatsu-Ya set an opening date.