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Austin-based restaurant Kerbey Lane Café comes to San Marcos


Kerbey Lane Café, located at 221 Sessom Drive., Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, in San Marcos, Texas.

After two years of planning and delays due to COVID-19, San Marcos welcomed the beloved Austin-based restaurant chain Kerbey Lane Café to the community in November.
The San Marcos location’s grand opening took place on Nov. 29., making it the second Kerbey Lane location outside of Austin other than the franchise’s Round Rock location. Opening its San Marcos location was the business’ first step toward expanding its reach beyond the Austin area, according to Ellen Gruber, marketing manager for Kerbey Lane Café.
“This is our first complete like out of market, out of Austin, and then we do have one plan for [a] San Antonio [location] for next year,” Gruber said.
Located at 221 Sessom Drive, near Texas State’s campus, the restaurant took the place of what was previously a Salt Grass Steakhouse. Before serving as a restaurant, the building was the San Marcos Mill Tract, a historical tract of land on which the first dam on the San Marcos River was built in the early 1800s.
With the building’s history creating a rustic atmosphere for the restaurant, other features include a pet-friendly patio, a private dining room and the view of the San Marcos River from the outdoor patio.
“We definitely want [Kerbey Lane Café] to be like a [bar-like] place … because it’s pretty close to the Square … [and] it’s right across from the stadium. It’s definitely a hang-out [place],” Gruber said. “We have a private dining room that we’re hoping to make connections with the school and host meetings and have faculty come use the place as well and clubs or whoever wants to use it.”
The Sessom Drive location is the chain’s first location that is directly on a college campus and the first one to be next to a body of water. Its proximity to campus and several off-campus apartment complexes gives students the opportunity to stop by for a bite to eat or even get a job close to campus.
Billie Jimenez, a consumer affairs junior, is working as a server and bartender at Kerbey Lane San Marcos and thinks the vibe of the restaurant will attract both families and students.
“I feel like it’s definitely gonna be like a Sunday brunch type deal … and I feel like it’s definitely gonna be like one that, you know, families are gonna come in and like have a dinner, or [students will] meet up with friends at night, or even like study and have a coffee,” Jimenez said.
Mel Ybarra, manager at Kerbey Lane San Marcos, has worked for Kerbey Lane for five years and has been excited for the San Marcos location to finally open.
“This is our first out of market Kerbey as far as like you know town so, so far it’s going really well. It’s really well received that the community seems excited to have us and we are so happy to be here,” Ybarra said.
Kerbey Lane Café is open Sunday-Thursday from 7 a.m. to midnight and Friday-Saturday from 7-2 a.m. In the future, Ybarra said their goal is to be open 24/7.
For now, Gruber said the Kerbey Lane Café team is happy to finally establish itself in San Marcos and looks forward to getting to know the community.
“I mean it feels like it has been a long time,” Gruber said. “We’re really proud of how we’ve kind of transformed the space with our limited construction and just got like a little paint refresh and it’s just a really beautiful location.”
For more information on Kerbey Lane Café, visit its website.

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