Mueller restaurant Colleen's Kitchen delivers updated Southern hospitality

Owner Ashley Fric stands in the recently opened walk-up window.

Owner Ashley Fric stands in the recently opened walk-up window.

Image description
Family-style buttermilk fried chicken
Image description
Herb-rubbed bone-in pork chop
Image description
Pistachio-crusted tempeh
When Ashley Fric and her husband, Sean, moved to the Mueller neighborhood in 2009, there were still runways on the ground.

The former municipal airport has since turned into a bustling mixed-use development.

In 2018, the couple moved into a second home, of sorts, with the opening of Colleen’s Kitchen, a full-service restaurant serving Southern cuisine.

“We want to be a place for the neighborhood to gather,” Ashley said.

The restaurant is named for Ashley’s aunt.

“She was just that matriarch of our family,” Ashley said, adding that visiting her always felt like “an event”—whether it was a big Easter meal or an after-school treat of hot tea and cookies.

Ashley has worked to bring her aunt’s spirit of generosity and hospitality to the restaurant, from the figurines that line the walls to the vintage plates on which the food is served.

She has also drawn on her experience in the restaurant industry, from waitressing in high school to working with her husband at J. Black’s, a bar on Sixth Street that closed in 2018.

But after 10 years, and with a young family, she said it grew harder to close the bar down at 4 a.m.

Opening Colleen’s Kitchen allows Ashley to remain in the industry during this new stage.

“I love dining out,” she said. “I would do it all the time if I could.”

Following in her aunt’s footsteps, Ashley said she loves creating experiences for her guests.

“Because it is Southern cuisine, because it’s a family environment, we wanted folks to come here and be taken care of,” she said.

Ashley said she looks out for each individual guest’s needs, from the family having brunch after church to the group of friends out for happy hour to the vegan diner looking for a special meal to her staff, who share a meal before each shift.

“Everyone has a different need, and we want to be able to fill all of those,” she said.


MOST RECENT

The city of Austin this summer cleared four unregulated homeless encampments and shifted dozens of residents into shelters. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plan to house thousands of Austin's homeless people taking shape, but outlook for local success, project funding still unclear

The strategy's first housing benchmark fell short in June, and updates on how the estimated $515 million needed for housing and services will be spent are overdue.

graphic
DATA: How population changed in Texas counties between census counts in 2010, 2020

Texas added nearly four million people between 2010 and 2020, according to the latest Census data.

The 28-story tower is expected to open on West 17th Street in 2023. (Rendering courtesy Rhode Partners)
Luxury mixed-use tower The Linden breaks ground north of Capitol in Central Austin

The 28-story high-rise will feature dozens of luxury residences, including a selection of two-story penthouses.

The Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission considered a finalized draft of an updated map for Austin's 10 City Council districts Sept. 15. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATED: Draft map of Austin's redrawn City Council boundaries ready for community review

Volunteer city redistricting commissioners have unanimously passed an initial outline to update all 10 City Council districts set to go into effect next year.

Photo of a sign in a field
3 weeks before first weekend, ACL Music Festival awaits permit, final health and safety procedures

Austin City Limits Music Festival has not yet received a permit for its multiweekend music festival, but the city of Austin said this is a normal timeline.

The Austin Transit Partnership approved a $312.8 million budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. (Benton Graham/Community Impact)
Project Connect’s $312.8M budget receives approval for FY 2021-22

The budget will largely be spent on advancing the 30% designs for the Orange and Blue MetroRail lines.

The Davis/White Park trail will be improved through the Neighborhood Partnering Program. (Courtesy Austin Public Works Department)
City of Austin selects 4 neighborhood improvement projects to assist

The Austin Public Works department has helped complete more than 70 local neighborhood improvement projects in the last 10 years.

200 Academy Drive could be redeveloped to bring live music and housing to a South River City neighborhood. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
South River City's historic Austin Opera House property targeted for housing development, music venue revival

If approved, the project could bring a 17,500-square-foot concert hall and dozens of homes to a 4.6-acre site off of South Congress Avenue.

The city Music Commission met Sept. 13 to consider final outlines for the Live Music Fund Event Program and Austin Music Disaster Relief Fund 3.0.
Austin moving closer to sending out millions for live music events, musician recovery

Two upcoming city funding opportunities are being designed to support music industry events and provide emergency stabilization for those in the music sector.

Photo of county commissioners and community nonprofit leaders at a press conference
Travis County commits $110 million in federal funding to combat homelessness

The allocation will fund 2,000 supportive housing units.

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization said the 10 projects will complement existing priority projects in Central Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Central Texas transportation organization advances $7 million in funding for 10 priority projects

The group also provided updates on efforts to restructure the loan it extended for the MoPac express lanes.