New outdoor restaurant invites urban Austinites for upgraded camping meals
Camping is a lot of work, but the cookout vibes can't be beat. Luckily, a new concept in North-Central Austin has posted up for permanent campfire-worthy meals behind a favorite neighborhood hang.
Camp Out, a restaurant window and bar patio, expands both the physical space and the outdoorsy ethos of Allendale's Yard Bar, a combination bar and dog park.
According to Yard Bar's general manager Zak Sobieralski, the team wanted some serious eats to remind visitors that it's not just a place for dogs to socialize. There was a restaurant partner, but the collaboration fell through, and now the internally developed concept ("from the mind of Kristen Heaney Clark, founder and owner of Yard Bar" says a release) represents a little more self-determination.
The new space will bring "campers" together around fire pits, a playground, and a turf area for soccer; but it'll be harder to rain out than just any campsite. Covered seating will protect guests from the sun and rain, fans will keep the place cool, and there will even be TVs so watching the game doesn't mean sitting inside.
It is open now, but a grand opening celebration will set the tone on October 21, from 11 am to 10 pm. All visitors during the grand opening will receive complementary s'mores desserts.
“With Camp Out, we’re creating something that is welcoming and something you want to share with others," said Clark in the release. "We’ve cultivated a place for our neighbors and friends to just kick back, relax, and enjoy a good meal together."
It is a bit of a theme restaurant, with a color scheme inspired by camping gear, plus lowbrow picnic decor coming soon, like bunting flags, lanterns, resin plates, some iron cookware, and themed merch. But the menu does not rest on the laurels of a fun dining setup.
Head Chef Candace Landberg joins the camp after seven years at popular East Austin restaurant Cenote, and it's not just burgers on the menu — although they are a highlight. The "All Nighter" dresses espresso-rubbed local ground beef with smoked gouda, sauteed onion, barbecue sauce, and garlic aioli on a brioche bun, and a banh mi hot dog offers a cultural twist on an American camping staple, with pickled veggies, cilantro, basil, and sriracha mayo.
There will even be treats for canine visitors. (This is a campsite, after all — not a hotel.)
Of course, there are plenty of beers on the menu, both on tap and in cans. The cocktail list is similarly classic and low-maintenance, but with some interesting twists: a lemonade with mint and organic strawberry-lemon vodka; or an appropriately pine-flavored drink with gin, lime, tonic, and a rosemary sprig. Fans of Yard Bar will be happy to hear that its longtime bar manager, Paul Chapin, is also at the helm at Camp Out.
Starting this fall, the restaurant will start hosting s’mores nights, campfire stories, projector movie nights, and outdoor games, among other events. Pit bull lovers should mark their calendars the "Howl-O-Ween" costume contest on October 28 benefitting Love-A-Bull, an education and advocacy nonprofit.
More information about Camp Out is available at campout.yardbar.com. The ordering window is open on the back side of the existing Yard Bar building at 6700 Burnet Rd., from 11 am to 10 pm daily.