The anticipated new casual seafood restaurant from Amir and Ali Hajimalek, the owners of New American restaurants District Kitchen and Oasthouse, is opening next week in South Austin. Keepers Coastal Kitchen will open at 5701 West Slaughter Lane, Building D near the Circle C neighborhood starting on Friday, July 9.
Keepers’s menu makes use of sustainably caught seafood sourced from wholesale company Pacific Seafood. Dishes include an array of Viet-Cajun seafood boils with various flavored butters; a seafood dip made with blue crab and shrimp; fries topped with green chili queso, crawfish tails, and andouille sausage; po’ boys; and rice and salad bowls. The beverage menu highlights cocktails made with agave spirits and rum, alongside draft beers and micheladas.
The restaurant’s service model is a casual one: guests sit and place their orders via QR code menus, and staffers will serve said dishes. The space features murals from local artists as well as artwork by Corpus Christi artists.
When Keepers opens, it will initially only serve dinner from 3 to 10 p.m. daily. Lunch and takeout services will be added at later dates.
Rounding out the Keepers team is business partner René Melendes, who worked with Amir at chain restaurant Kona Grill in 2005. They thought up the restaurant during a fishing trip to Port Aransas pier Keepers (hence the name).
The West Slaughter Lane address will also contain a second location of Oasthouse, set to open sometime later this year. The entire space had previously housed the South Austin location of brewery and restaurant North by Northwest, which closed in January 2019.
The brothers opened the first location of District Kitchen in the Circle C neighborhood in 2013, then Oasthouse in northwest Austin in 2015, and then a second District Kitchen in North Shoal Creek in 2018 (taking over what had been longtime pan-Asian restaurant Suzi’s China Grill). Last December, they opened a pizzeria and sandwich shop, Shortie’s, found above District Kitchen in North Shoal Creek. And next up for Amir Hajimaleki is his Persian restaurant Roya, which hasn’t announced its location yet.