Worth The Drive
New restaurant Neighbor's Kitchen and Yard merges Austin style with Bastrop vibes
With folks increasingly priced out of local real estate, it makes sense that two young entrepreneurs are looking beyond the Austin city limits for their new venture.
On Friday, August 1, husband-and-wife-team Chris and Katie Allcorn officially open Neighbor's Kitchen and Yard, a restaurant and music venue nestled on the banks of the Colorado River in the heart of downtown Bastrop. With New York-style pizza, carefully curated wine and beer lists and expansive bridge and river views from the large outdoor patio, Neighbor's is primed to become a go-to destination for Central Texans.
"It's been fun to have this group of young people making dreams come true," says co-owner Katie Allcorn.
For the formerly Austin-based duo, making the move to Bastrop made sense. "Chris and I have always wanted to step out of Austin a little bit," explains Katie Allcorn of the couple's decision. "We love the community here, they've been so supportive. They're so excited to have a new business in town. We [see] it as a way to have a real impact instead of just being another restaurant in Austin or another venue in Austin," she says.
And so they left the Capital City, looking for a new home for their restaurant — and for themselves. As an eighth generation Texan, her husband Chris knew he wanted small town Texas charm, something Bastrop has in spades, but is often overlooked for more famous tourist towns like Fredericksburg and Round Top. When the couple stumbled upon a unique communal complex of old buildings called "The Crossing," which houses other local businesses like Bastrop River Company and Larryland Music, they knew they had found the spot. The community spirit is something Neighbor's Kitchen and Yard embraces with communal-style seating and ample space for folks to pull up a chair, order a beer and enjoy the atmosphere.
But even with a Bastrop address, Neighbor's has some distinctly Austin influences. The menu of Italian-inspired was crafted by a former Home Slice Pizza kitchen manager turned consultant. In addition to New York-style pizza, folks can order up calzones, sandwiches and crowd-pleasing appetizers like meatballs and garlic knots.
For the music (which is currently hosted Thursday through Saturday on the deck), the owners have a lofty, but inspiring ambition. "Our goal is to make it a place where — kinda like the Continental Club — you don't need to look at the schedule 'cause you know the music is going to be good," says Allcorn. The couple favors country and western and blues, but expect to see a bevy of Central Texas favorites on stage, including Mike and the Moonpies, who will be taking the stage during the SUP Cup on August 16.
Interiors were created using items sourced from local stores and flea markets and designed by Duffy Stone, a 27-year-old interior designer based in Austin. The restaurant's logo and branding were crafted by Katie Allcorn, a celebrated graphic designer and illustrator in her own right. "It's been fun to have this group of young people making dreams come true," laughs Allcorn.
The restaurant officially opens to public Friday. Neighbor's Kitchen and Yard will host its grand opening event in September. For more information, please visit its website.