Jack Gilmore and Tom Kamm, the owners of Jack Allen's Kitchen, will open Salt Traders near Old Settlers Boulevard and I-35 in Round Rock in the summer. The restaurant will serve seafood including fish plates, raw oysters, and shrimp.
"Seafood has always been a passion of mine; I grew up on the coast," Gilmore said. "There's a need for it here in Round Rock. Round Rock has been a great community for us and a great spot to run a Jack Allen's Kitchen. [Seafood] is just one of those niches that needs to be filled."
Kamm said the name came from the history of the Gulf Coast in the 19th century, where fisherman would trade their catch for salt from salt miners. Kamm said the name spoke to the sense of sharing and community they want the restaurant to encompass.
"The hardest thing about opening a restaurant is giving it a name," Gilmore said. "The easy part is executing and running it."
Gilmore and Kamm said the color palette and aesthetics will be reminiscent of the Gulf Coast.
"You're going to feel like you're on the coast when you walk in," Gilmore said. "The minute you walk in you're going to walk into a very vibrant setting with great lighting and great music. It'll just be a happening environment that will suck you in."
Salt Traders will occupy the former Mesa Rosa location.[/caption]
The location, at 2850 N. I-35 in the former location of Mesa Rosa, will be near Jack Allen's Kitchen as well as Hopdoddy and Cover 3, which is opening in March in Round Rock's newest bustling restaurant corridor. Kamm said the building's front exterior, interior, and patio will all undergo renovations before the restaurant opens. Gilmore said the restaurant will also use reclaimed wood as much as possible during the construction process.
"You won't recognize it—it's going to be a complete gut job," Kamm said. "Then we're going to go in and add our touches to it."
There are two other area Jack Allen's Kitchen locations besides the one in Round Rock, but Salt Traders will be a new concept for the two restaurant owners.
"I grew up in Round Rock," Kamm said. "So I'm proud to open another restaurant [in the city]."
Edited 10:54 a.m. to include rendering of Salt Traders.