Maryland-based fast-casual seafood chain Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls is opening its first Texas location in the Austin area starting in mid-August. This is one of two Austin-area locations planned, with more to come for the rest of the state. The new restaurant will be found at 200 Congress Avenue (taking over the address that housed New American restaurant Second Bar + Kitchen, which closed after ten years in November 2020) starting in mid-August.
Mason’s menu focuses on lobster rolls, with five main offerings: the cold lobster with mayonnaise and butter; the warm Connecticut-style with butter; a lobster-bacon-lettuce-tomato; a lobster salad sandwich, and a not-lobster iteration with jumbo shrimp. Then there are lobster salads, lobster grilled cheeses, lobster mac and cheese, and lobster bisque. The lobster is sourced from Maine.
Other non-lobster items include clam chowder, potato salad, and, for children, hot dogs and plain grilled cheeses. As for drinks, there will be organic sodas from Maine Root Beverages, plus beer and wine.
The Austin restaurant will operate with dine-in counter service, with both takeout and third-party deliveries available. The space itself will feature indoor and patio dine-in areas. Its hours will be from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Mason’s founder and president Daniel Beck, who had been a seafood buyer previously, started the restaurant in 2014 in Annapolis, Maryland. There are locations along the East Coast, plus numerous expansions including one in Colorado. The Austin franchise is run by Taher Dhilla.
Second Bar’s original location opened in downtown Austin in 2010 by chef David Bull, who is also the regional vice president of food and beverage of parent company La Corsha. The company decided to not renew the restaurant’s lease last fall due to an undesirable lease. Its locations in the Domain Northside and the Austin airport remain open.
Across the street in related seafood news, Southern California seafood chain Ways & Means Oyster House was supposed to open its first Texas location, taking over what had been Annie’s Cafe, as announced in May 2018. However, the plan never progressed since then.
Austin-born-and-based food truck and restaurant Garbo’s, which started in 2013 by Heidi Garbo, also focuses on serving Maine lobster rolls from its roaming truck and North Shoal Creek physical location.