First Look: Jack Allen's Kitchen opens in Cedar Park

Tom Kamm (left) and Jack Gilmore (right) opened their Cedar Park restaurant in October. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Tom Kamm (left) and Jack Gilmore (right) opened their Cedar Park restaurant in October. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Tom Kamm (left) and Jack Gilmore (right) opened their Cedar Park restaurant in October. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

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The bar at Jack Allen's Kitchen in Cedar Park. (Courtesy Jack Allen's Kitchen)
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Southern Crispy Chicken Sandwich, $13.99 (Courtesy Jack Allen's Kitchen)
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Barbacoa Stackers, $9.99 (Courtesy Jack Allen's Kitchen)
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Jack Allen's Kitchen in Cedar Park has a wide array of whiskey available. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
For its fifth location, Jack Allen’s Kitchen followed its staff and customers north.

Owners Jack Gilmore and Tom Kamm chose Cedar Park as the restaurant’s fifth location to move closer to its employees and restaurant regulars. The Cedar Park opening on Oct. 5 was several years in the making as the owners have searched for the perfect location, they said.

“Our workforce is here. Our customer base is here, and the city ... I feel like we’re late to the party,” Gilmore said. “But we’re not. We’re right in the middle of it.”

So much so that the owners are looking for a spot to open a Cedar Park location for their other restaurant, Salt Traders Coastal Cooking. They will open it when the right opportunity pops up, Kamm said.

“Cedar Park is a great community. There’s a lot of opportunities for a lot of restaurants here,” Gilmore said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we did something else.”


Compared to other Jack Allen’s restaurants, the Cedar Park location has a more modern design but still retains the feel of all Jack Allen’s Kitchens. The restaurant interior is designed with reclaimed wood, and old stadium lights are used overhead. The restaurant, located at the 1890 Ranch shopping center, will also feature a patio area for outdoor dining.

The restaurateurs say they are getting back to their roots in their relationships with local ranchers and farmers after a year of supply chain interruptions during the pandemic.

The restaurant has a standard menu that is always available, but a seasonal menu changes based on what is available, Gilmore said.

“We constantly challenge the chefs to come up with something,” he said.

Regular menu items include “chicken-fried anything” like steak, chicken or pork chops. Kamm and Gilmore also recommend starting with a sharable dish, ordering a cocktail and ending with a dessert served with Amy’s Ice Creams.

Kamm said a section of the menu is dedicated to its barrel select program where members of their team will go to distilleries across the country, sample barrels and pick several for the restaurants.

“We pick the barrel, and [the distillery will] bottle it for us,” Kamm said. “We’ve got two Texas whiskeys, a lot of Kentucky whiskey, some Tennessee whiskey; I’ve got a rye ... so a pretty good variety.”

Kamm and Gilmore opened their first restaurant together in 2009. Gilmore specialized in back-of-the-house operations, and Kamm ran the front of the house, they said.

Gilmore said his goal is for anyone who walks into a Jack Allen’s Kitchen to find something they want, vegetarians included.

“We have options for everything, plus we have people in the kitchen who can modify almost anything you want,” Gilmore said. “We listen; we understand what dietary needs are; and we train servers to pull it out of you so that we can do it right in the kitchen.”



Jack Allen’s Kitchen

1345 E. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park

512-528-5194

https://jackallenskitchen.com

Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

By Taylor Girtman

Reporter, Cedar Park and Leander

Taylor Girtman became the reporter for the Cedar Park-Leander edition in February 2020. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida.



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