By CASSIE MCKEE, Four Points News
Kirby and Kathy Walker, owners of the local Nik’s Italian Kitchen + Bar on RM 620, have partnered with another Four Points-based couple, Ross and Ashley Goolsby, to open a new restaurant on Lake Travis called Nik’s on the Lake.
Expected to open in late June, Nik’s on the Lake will be located at 8714 Lime Creek Rd. in Volente, about a 20 minute drive from Four Points.
“Our philosophy is to provide a fun, relaxing environment where our customers have a great dining experience at a reasonable price and are able to enjoy the tranquil lake setting,” said Ashley Goolsby.
The Walkers moved to Four Points two years ago from Cedar Park after opening Nik’s Italian Kitchen in late 2012. That restaurant has continued to do well as it has adapted to the tastes of the local neighborhood.
“We have a core base of great customers,” said Kirby Walker. “We think the future is strong at that location.”
The Walker family has a long history in the restaurant business. They even own another restaurant in Fayetteville, Ark. With five children ranging in age from 22 to 30, the business is a family affair. Their oldest son, Kasey, is a part-time manager at Nik’s on 620 and their youngest son, Kambell, who just graduated from UT, will be a full-time manager at Nik’s on the Lake. Their daughter, Kristine, will serve as the general manager at Nik’s on the Lake.
“We’re very happy to have them all involved,” Walker said.
Walker said the opportunity to open the new Nik’s on the Lake fell into the family’s lap.
“This opportunity just presented itself,” he said. “You never know when opportunity comes. Things just fell together extremely quickly.”
They decided to partner with Ross and Ashley Goolsby, local CPAs who have lived in River Place since 2001. Their son, Gray, just graduated from Vandegrift High School. It was Nik’s Italian Kitchen that brought the two couples together, first as business associates and then as friends. For the past three years, Ashley has done the accounting for Nik’s Italian Kitchen and the Walker’s restaurant in Arkansas.
“We have incredible respect for the brand, business and knowledge the Walkers have about the restaurant business,” said Ashley Goolsby. “We are a great fit as the Goolsbys bring financial expertise and the Walkers definitely know their business and industry.”
Nik’s on the Lake will be located at the site of the former Café Blue, which closed four years ago, next to the Sandy Creek Marina. They have totally redone the space, including updating the colors and the building interior and given the space a new modern feeling.
“The setting of the property is incredibly peaceful, beautiful and noncommercial, so it is a great place to be right on the water and not feel crowded or rushed,” Ashley said. “You can get to the location either by car or boat.”
The menu at Nik’s on the Lake will include some customer favorites from Nik’s on 620 such as chicken in jalapeño lime cream sauce, but will add more traditional lake fare such as grilled shrimp and catfish, Kirby said. There will even be some Tex Mex items on the menu such as tacos and quesadillas. The bar will feature signature cocktails from Deep Eddy Vodka as well as a carefully selected wine list.
With Lake Travis now completely full, Ashley said customers are sure to appreciate the beautiful view on their covered outdoor seating.
“We are beyond excited about the fullness of the lake and all of the activity surrounding it right now,” she said.