Austin said she first started working in the restaurant industry when she was 15.
“I wanted a car, so I knew I had to get a job, but my mom told me I had to be a server,” Austin said. “She said it would teach me everything I needed to know in life.”
After leaving Mississippi to study theater at New York University and then going on to fulfill her acting dreams in Los Angeles, Austin landed in Central Texas doing creative consulting work for the hospitality industry.
“My heart has always been in the service industry,” Austin said.
Austin’s design work, including marketing and menu design, can be found in the metro area at DuMont’s Down Low, Dive Bar and The Wheel.
When Aaron and Taylor Holmes approached her to help launch their first venture, Goodfolks, Austin was ready to go to work once again.
“I am so lucky that they asked me to be a part of their team,” Austin said.
Goodfolks was originally slated for a March 2021 opening, but the debut of the two-story restaurant on the Square was pushed to October due to supply shortages associated with COVID-19.
Now, with customized lighting, a working elevator and an Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible bar, Austin said the delayed opening was worth the wait.
“We are happy to be a part of the Georgetown community,” Austin said.
Chef Justin Manzi, a New Jersey native who has been a lead chef all over the country for more than a decade, has curated the Goodfolks Southern-inspired menu.
“All our biscuits, brioche buns, croutons, breading, desserts and sauces are made from scratch,” Manzi said. “Also, almost everything that we fry, including our chicken, can be made gluten-free."
Manzi takes pride in his adaptability and use of fresh ingredients.
“Our white pimento cheese appetizer is not your traditional grocery-store pimento,” Manzi said. “We use whipped cream cheese and jack cheese to keep it light and airy. Also incorporated is applewood bacon and roasted red peppers to give you texture and a more fulfilling palate.”
Another less traditional dish is the chicken-fried New York strip steak served with maple sage gravy, crispy onions and red bliss mashed potatoes.
Goodfolks also has an exclusive brunch menu that is served on Sundays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
“I love our food, and I love coming to work,” Austin said. “I remember tasting our biscuits with cane syrup honey butter for the first time. ... I think I actually cried.”
119 W. 7th St., Georgetown
Hours: Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., closed Mon.