While most Capital City restaurateurs are clamoring to get a piece of the shrinking Central Austin pie, chef Amir Hajimaleki and brother Ali have found success opening Oasthouse Kitchen + Bar and District Kitchen + Cocktails on the edges of the city. Now, they are preparing for a busy 2020 as they open two new restaurants in the former North by Northwest Brewing Company space at 5701 W. Slaughter Ln, which shuttered in January.
The first will be a new location of Oasthouse, opening sometime in fall 2020. Hajimaleki tells CultureMap that the menu will be similar to the existing location at 8300 FM 620 N., with an assortment of internationally inspired dishes like carnitas poutine, pimento deviled eggs, and braised pork shoulder with sweet potato spaetzle.
Pastry wunderkind Dennis Van will also be on board with popular dishes like sticky toffee pudding with (512) Pecan Porter ice cream. Zach Sasser, who opened Oasthouse, will lead the bar program with a focus on local craft beers, beer cocktails, and whiskey.
Hajimaleki also has something new up his sleeve. Keepers, a new coastal seafood concept, will share the space, although it will operate as a separate eatery complete with its own patio. Opening in late spring/early summer 2020, the concept is a collaboration with the chef’s longtime friend and mentor Rene Melendes.
“We have talked about this concept for years while fishing together down at the coast and we are excited to bring it to life,” says Hajimaleki.
Named after a Port Aransas pier that Hajimaleki has been fishing for almost 20 years, the casual eatery will continue the restaurant group’s focus on supporting local purveyors and sourcing sustainably. The menu will include a king crab roll, grilled whole fish, ceviche, boiled shrimp tossed in Vietnamese nuoc cham butter, and fried slathered in shrimp étouffée and pimento cheese.
Non-seafood options will include a boudin sausage po’ boy and a classic Juicy Lucy burger made with ground brisket. Sasser will again helm the beverage program with an emphasis on rum and agave cocktails.
With all that, one would think that Hajimaleki would stop to take a break, but he still has one more feather to add to his already well-plumed cap. Roya, the Persian restaurant first announced in October 2018, will debut sometime in 2021. Until then, locals should keep an eye out for the concept at events throughout 2020.