RedFin Seafood Kitchen opened Memorial Day weekend and is already averaging 225 customers a night, said Bill Rasch, co-owner with business partner Mike McCollum, of the new restaurant.
Located on RM 620 in The Trails at 620 shopping center, RedFin offers a menu featuring foods from the sea and land. “Asking which is your favorite dish is like asking who of your children is your favorite,” said Cameron Kalka, general manager.
Rasch and McCollum, both residents of Steiner Ranch, began talking about opening a restaurant four years ago. They eventually teamed up with Chef Mario Rodriguez, previously with the W Hotel in downtown Austin, and Kalka, former GM of Shady Grove and Guero’s, to open RedFin.
“So far, it has been awesome,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve opened several restaurants. I opened the W with an ‘army’. We have a lot less staff here, but I think we’ve done great. We’ve done a great job of adapting too. We’ve listened to comments from customers and already made adjustments.”
“We’re all excited, passionate, about what we’re doing here. I’ve never felt more sure and better about what we serve than I do here,” said Kalka.
To begin, guests can choose from 17 appetizers including oyster shooters, crab hushpuppies and pistol shrimp. The main menu offers soups, salads, lunch options, dinner entrees and desserts. Chef Rodriguez is quick to note that fresh seafood is brought in daily. Prices range from $10 to $14 for lunches and $16 to $39 for dinners. The highest priced item is an 18-ounce grilled bone-in rib eye steak. There is a kid’s menu as well.
Finally, 18 specially crafted cocktails, 26 kinds of wine and beer chilled to 29 degrees are available from a well stocked bar.
The overall ambiance is one of rustic elegance, with reclaimed, long leaf red pine wall paneling and tabletops of wood. The bar is built against weathered-looking brick. In the clear air, there is a faint scent of wood smoke from the kitchen’s wood-burning grill.
Complementing the relaxed atmosphere is an attentive wait staff. “My expectations of our staff are high and they know it. Table maintenance is huge and so many restaurants miss the mark . We want your day to be better because you ate at RedFin,” said Rasch,
Rasch, who is director of business development for an Austin printing company, opened restaurants for Pappas and Carrabba’s when he was in college. Unlike those well-branded establishments, RedFin is a new creation.
He remains poised but animated when sharing his enthusiasm for the recently born eatery. “We literally built this restaurant. We literally shed blood putting up the reclaimed long leaf red pine by ourselves. We’re slowly adding art. There are a lot of personal touches here,” he said.
Rasch, however, admitted he was a little insecure about connecting to patrons. “I can talk all day long to my family and friends about this restaurant, but until you embrace the general public and see how people react, you don’t know how it’s going to go. It’s intriguing. People don’t know the story of RedFin, so it’s not close to their heart. They just want a good meal. We want RedFin to be a quality restaurant with quality food. The general consensus is we’re off to a good start,” Rasch said.
RedFin is open daily. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is from 5 to 10 p.m. A shellfish and raw oyster bar is opened from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Happy hour is 3 to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday. For more information or to view the full menu, go to www.RedFinseafoodkitchen.com