Roots

Roots co-owners Kamil (left) and Jeana Aliani (right) purchased the business in January, and Manager Madison Simmons (center) has worked with the Roots for nearly five years.

Roots co-owners Kamil (left) and Jeana Aliani (right) purchased the business in January, and Manager Madison Simmons (center) has worked with the Roots for nearly five years.

Roots Roots offers a menu with items including pizzas, salads, tacos and sandwiches.[/caption]

The co-owner of Roots in downtown Georgetown said the business’s local roots run deep—hence its name.


The bar, kitchen and live music venue has been a starting point for new musicians since it opened six years ago, owner Jeana Aliani said. Roots largely hosts bands from Austin and Georgetown at the business’s weekly karaoke and open mic nights.


Jeana and her husband, Kamil, first explored buying the venue in January to expand their Italian restaurant, Paisano’s, but she said they fell in love with the atmosphere of Roots. 


“Even though it’s only been here about six years, it feels like it’s been here since the 1800s,” Jeana said. “We wanted to keep that feeling.”


The two ended up purchasing both the business and the building and began making changes to the menu and adding more beer and wine offerings. 


Roots offers breakfast options, such as tacos and pastries, which are made in-house, though its croissants are imported from France. For appetizers the two changed the recipes for the hummus and spinach artichoke dip, and added bruschetta and a cheese board to the menu.


Since the Alianis took over in January the pizza recipes have been updated as well, she said. The restaurant also offers gluten-free pizza.


Jeana said the majority of the food at Roots is made from scratch. The business brings in fresh meats and local organic eggs, and she said Roots strives to order only high-quality ingredients.


“We go through steps to make a good product,” she said. “We shoot for as many natural products as possible.”


On its dessert menu, Roots features flourless chocolate cake and serves cookies made from Jeana’s sister’s recipe. The business also has rotating desserts, including cheesecake.


Every so often Roots will serve specials such as Moroccan couscous or boiled crawfish, which typically sell out fast, Jeana said. She said she has picked up her interest in different cuisines through her travels—she was born in San Francisco and grew up in Southern California. Her older sister married a man from Spain, so Jeana spent time visiting France, Morocco, Greece and Italy and learning different cuisines. Jeana and her husband also learned Moroccan recipes from Kamil’s aunt, who served as a chef to the Moroccan royal family, she said.


Although many visitors stop in while shopping on the Square, Jeana said the restaurant also serves many regulars through its weekly events, and the atmosphere reminds her of the Georgetown version of the bar in the television show ‘Cheers,’ she said.


Aside from customers, most of the staff members at Roots are also locals who grew up in Georgetown. Manager Madison Simmons said she has been at the business for close to five years. Though the ownership has changed multiple times, she said the atmosphere at Roots has always been homey, and the venue has continued to be part of the community. 


“It just keeps getting better and better,” she said. “It’s been really rewarding to see our base of regulars grow.”