The Bon Aire team prides itself on offering a simple menu of American classics at some of the lowest prices in the city.

Owners Frederick “Fritz” Beer and Scott Hillen, two high school friends from Alton, Illinois, officially opened the eatery in July 2020. The pair were inspired by their hometown bar Fast Eddie’s Bon Air, which they frequented as college students. Fast Eddie’s, Beer and Hillen said, is known for its neighborhood pub feel: beer, sports and good food at good prices.

“We always loved the concept and thought it would work anywhere,” Beer said. “[Fast Eddie’s] concept was that he had a half-pound burger for a dollar, so people loved to go there. ... We got a lot of advice from them.”

The Bon Aire features walkup a-la-carte kitchen service and a large wraparound center bar. Along with $3.99 half-pound burgers, $0.39 jumbo peel-and-eat shrimp and a skewer of large bone-in wings for $5.99, the menu includes pork sirloin and beef tenderloin kebabs, bratwurst, toasted ravioli, shoestring fries and a couple vegetarian options—all under $10.

The secret to keeping their prices so low is staying simple, Hillen said. While most restaurants aim for a ratio of 25% for the cost of goods with 75% profit, The Bon Aire is the opposite—they look to put 25% on the bottom line and spend 75% on serving so customers can get better deals, Hillen said.

“We don’t have an expensive salaried chef back there,” Hillen added. “Everybody works the line, and they’re tipped employees. The overhead in the kitchen is low. We break down all the meats in-house. We grind our own bratwurst in-house. Everything is made fresh here in-house. Not only is the food super inexpensive, it’s high quality.”

In keeping with their inspiration from Fast Eddie’s and other Midwest-style pubs, The Bon Aire has over 20 beers on tap, happy hour drink deals, and regular trivia nights and sports game watch parties on the flat-screen TVs.

“We get all types of people here,” Hillen said. “There will be a guy in a suit and tie sitting next to a guy in a softball uniform. Everybody likes a good deal.”

9070 Research Blvd., Ste. 101, Austin

Bar hours: Mon.-Thu. 3-11 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Kitchen hours: Mon.-Thu. 4-10:30 p.m., Fri. 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.