Local Joe’s Kitchen opened Sept. 12 in San Marcos.

About the owner

Local Joe’s Kitchen is owned by Austin native Joe Perricone, who has worked in the restaurant industry for over 35 years at restaurants such as Cracker Barrel, Chili’s and Logan’s Roadhouse. In 1997, he opened his first of five restaurants in Tennessee.

Perricone decided to return to Texas to be with his family.

“My goal was to sell my last restaurant in Tennessee, move to Texas, and open this concept here and retire in the area. And I thought, ‘Why not San Marcos?’” Perricone said.

Perricone said a combination of San Marcos’ characteristics made the area an “ideal matchup” for him, including the green spaces, the trails and the river. He also wanted to live in a small enough town where he could get to know and connect with the community while thriving personally.

What’s on the menu?

Local Joe’s Kitchen offers Southern cooking presented in a modern fashion.

“We want to serve mom and pop-type cuisine without looking like a mom and pop establishment,” Perricone said.

Perricone said each of his recipes was inspired by his parents, grandparents and mother-in-law. Some recipes were also inspired from other restaurants that he modified to make his own.

“These are well-crafted, carefully procured recipes that I have developed over the years,” Perricone said.

The small chain offers a daily rotating menu of different items, including slow-roasted pork, which is served with a pork gravy; bourbon-glazed salmon; baked chicken served over rice; collared greens; pinto beans; macaroni and cheese; fried okra; and more.

Local Joe’s Kitchen also serves a variety of desserts, such as blackberry cobbler, Southern pecan pie, pineapple upside-down cake, buttermilk pie and homemade banana pudding.

What’s special about it?

“One of the things that separates us from all the other restaurants in town is that every guest that eats here gets a free, fresh-baked cookie as a part of their dining experience,” Perricone said.