A Wider Net

Garbo's Fresh Maine Lobster sets anchor in downtown Austin with new eatery

Garbo's Fresh Maine Lobster anchors in downtown Austin with new eatery

A lobster roll on a blue and white ceramic plate with Cape Cod chips.
A food trailer is getting the beach party started early, anticipating the next Garbo's Fresh Maine Lobster location this fall. Photo courtesy of Garbo's
Photo courtesy of Garbo's

As the tide of incoming and outgoing restaurants constantly changes, Austin seafood lovers will be happy to hear that beloved Cape Cod-inspired eatery Garbo's is setting its anchor in downtown Austin. Coming to 626 North Lamar Blvd. (near Amy’s Ice Creams, where Counter Café used to be), Garbo’s On Lamar is projected to open in September 2022.

But downtown diners won't have to wait until September to get their claws on fresh seafood. Starting June 30, Garbo's Fresh Maine Lobster will have a food trailer onsite Thursdays through Saturdays, 11 am-8 pm.

This is not the restaurant’s first foray into the food truck business — in fact, that’s exactly how it started. After a string of other food truck stints, pop-ups, the restaurant currently operates one main eatery located on North Mopac. 

“This year, we set out to find the perfect spot for another one of our beloved, sister-owned lobster shacks,” said the Lamar locations’ general manager, Samantha Garbo, sister of owner Heidi Garbo, and daughter of a Connecticut lobsterman. “When the old Counter Cafe space at 626 North Lamar became available, we were thrilled to move in and look forward to honoring the iconic spot while still giving it a facelift.”

Garbo's serves up both Maine- and Connecticut-style lobster rolls, the former chilled with mayo and celery, the latter with warm butter. If New England is more your thing than lobster, there are grilled cheese sandwiches, spicy shrimp rolls, and Cobb salads. (You can add lobster if you just can’t give it up).

When it opens this fall, the brick-and-mortar Garbo’s On Lamar will operate with a “limited” menu plus beers, wines, and other drinks, although it doesn’t sound limited at all until compared to the long list of offerings at the North Austin location. The new location will shell out crab cakes, lobster and fried fish rolls, “and more,” the release ensures, with a kids menu and grocery packs including carryout meals like chilled lobster, shrimp cocktail, and clam chowder. It will only have 10 seats inside, and 10 outside, but there will be service windows for walk-up and take-out orders.

Most of Garbo’s expansions have happened after the onset of the pandemic, making this opening another milestone in a list of especially uncertain business ventures, which Austinites have greeted with rave reviews and open claws ... uh, arms. More information, including a food truck schedule, is available at garboslobsteratx.com.