A Maryland-based fast-casual seafood franchise is clawing its way to the Texas market, opening its first location in the Lone Star State at the end of this month in downtown Austin.
Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls will host a grand opening event on Thursday, September 30 at its new Austin location, at 200 Congress Ave., with guests able to chow down on the brand’s authentic New England-style lobster rolls and other goodies starting at 11 am.
Mason’s, which was founded in 2014 and has since grown from its Annapolis, Maryland, headquarters to include 13 other lobster locations in several states, is moving into Texas during a particularly busy time for the company. In fact, Mason’s business is on a roll, with the brand planning to add more locations this year in Virginia Beach; Cary, North Carolina; Denver; and Washington, D.C.
Founder Dan Beck, a self-proclaimed lobster aficionado for more than two decades, spawned the idea for Mason’s after working as a seafood buyer in the restaurant industry, a position that enabled him to learn the centuries-old values and traditions of Maine lobstermen.
In opening Mason’s, he hoped to pay homage to that community, and as such, ensures that Mason’s lobster is hauled from the waters off Maine, immediately brought to a local facility for a simple cook, then prepared at Mason’s locations according to tradition: with “no bells, no whistles, and no pretention,” just lemon, butter, mayo, and little bit of celery — a recipe that allows the seductive lobster meat to be the star of the show. In essence, Mason’s emphasizes that its food is all about being genuine.
The Austin location will be run by franchisee Taher Dhilla, who grew up in New England and frequently visited lobster-brimming Maine before settling down in Austin with his family.
Dhilla says the Mason’s concept — which centers on the classic New England lobster roll sourced from 100 percent certified sustainable Maine lobster — should be a welcome addition to the Austin restaurant scene, which, despite one or two bright spots, has long been seriously lacking in lush lobster rolls.
“Lobster rolls are hard to find here, so we are thrilled to bring delicious, authentic lobster rolls to Austin,” Dhilla says. “Seafood lovers can stop by and enjoy mounds of lobster meat sustainably sourced from the waters of Maine on a grilled, buttery split-top roll.”
In addition to the classic lobster roll, Mason’s Austin menu will feature a slew of other seafood rolls, from the Connecticut Roll (similar to the classic except warm, and the lobster is tossed in butter) and the dank lobster BLT roll to the shrimp roll and the Bar Harbor (any of the famous rolls topped with 1.25 pounds of lobster, including the lust-worthy tail meat).
Diners can also opt for lobster and shrimp salads over greens instead of piled on a roll, as well as delicacies like lobster grilled cheese, lobster mac and cheese, lobster bisque, New England clam chowder, and a variety of sides and sips.
For more info about Mason’s and the Austin opening, visit the company’s website and follow Mason’s on Instagram.