Formerly home to the Cinemark Movies 8 theater, Rock Creek Plaza has been overhauled over the past two years with Austin-based brands such as Amy’s Ice Creams and P. Terry’s Burger Stand opening in the center.

While the retail center has maintained longtime tenants ARA Diagnostic Imaging and Kerbey Lane Cafe, Danly Properties director of business development Adam Lewis has been working to bring large Texas names to the area, with a goal of creating a local community feel.

“We’re trying to bring something that feels more localized,” Lewis said.

Two-minute impact

Starting with the opening of Tumble 22 in 2021, Lewis has been working to curate a shopping center of Texas-based businesses familiar to Round Rock residents.

Such a center, he said, fills the gap between national brands—which he has turned away—and one-off mom and pop shops.

“The premise is absolutely to work with as many local brands as possible,” Lewis said. “I’ve always had this belief that these guys would do the best in a development with other brands like them. I’ve never really seen somebody exclusively do that.

I felt like the shopping center in Round Rock was a really good place to try that.”

Since 2021, Lewis has secured leases with businesses known across the state, including Tyler’s, Amy’s Ice Creams, JuiceLand, Via 313, Tumble 22, Ramen Tatsuya, Velvet Taco and P. Terry’s Burger Stand.

The Rock Creek Plaza included ARA Diagnostic Imaging, Kerbey Lane Cafe and other ventures before new tenants moved in. Businesses now open include:Businesses coming soon include:The background

Justin Dermit, director of marketing and e-commerce for sports outfitter Tyler’s, said he’s heard many stories from the construction crew remodeling the old theater about growing up in the area and going to the dollar theater.

The Cinemark Movies 8 located in the center’s northeast corner made Rock Creek Plaza an entertainment hub upon its opening in 1987. Lewis said he aims to make the center once again a place for people to bring their families.

A closer look

JuiceLand Originator Matt Shook said the Round Rock location will be only his fifth drive-thru, and that the co-tenancy of other Austin names were what drew him to the plaza.

“That seems like the best fit for our brand, to be with those other hometown heroes,” Shook said. “P. Terry’s, Kerbey Lane and Via 313—those are our favorite guys. It’s like a little Austin up there.”

Similarly, Amy’s Ice Creams CEO Alan Hixon said Lewis’ plans for Rock Creek Plaza greatly appealed to him as the company searched for a suitable place in Round Rock.

“We just felt that their vision for what they were going to do with the center was really going to create a great opportunity for a destination for people in the community, because there’d be so many wonderful options there,” Hixon said.

Song Campbell, a Round Rock resident who moved to the area in 2004, said she fondly remembers taking her family to the Cinemark Movies 8, and is happy that despite the recent changes at Rock Creek Plaza longtime tenant La Tapatia will remain.

Campbell said she was unhappy to see another fast-food restaurant, P. Terry’s Burger Stand, move into the shopping center, and expressed a desire for more health-oriented food options to be brought in, as well as businesses geared toward activities.

“I know in Austin, they have all these businesses where you can go make pottery, build something with wood—creative kinds of things,” Campbell said. “There’s so many restaurants. I mean, it’s overwhelming.”

What’s next

As Lewis continues to search for additional tenants to fill the shopping center, he said he’s looking into creative solutions to address parking needs for customers, but no decisions have been made yet.

Lewis said he is also working to attract additional restaurants to the shopping center to fill out existing vacancies. Dermit said he hopes to preserve some of the city’s history and the legacy of the space as a treasured part of the community in the new Tyler’s location, once renovations are complete.

By opening in the plaza, Dermit said Tyler’s will have a level of exposure that the company has not had before.

”Being in the Austin area with the Drag, with Westlake, we tend to be a little bit more in the neighborhoods,” he said. “Round Rock’s a little bit different for us because it is such a big area.”