Four new options for food & drink in Four Points

Krista and Sean Kanter opened Oz. Tap House, a self-serve beer and wine on tap, on Feb. 1 in the Shops at Riverplace.

By SARAH DOOLITTLE, Four Points News

As the Four Points area continues to experience a retail construction boom, a number of new dining and beverage options are available for area residents, including Oz. Tap House, Galaxy Cafe, Sloan + Parker and Domino’s Pizza.

Oz. Tap House

At Oz. Tap House, which opened Feb. 1 in the Shops at Riverplace, owners Krista and Sean Kanter offer another kind of service: self-serve beer and wine on tap. Theirs is one of the first tap houses of its kind to open in Texas since the state changed laws allowing customers to pour their own alcohol.

The concept works thanks to technology: customers check in on arrival and provide a credit card, essentially opening a tab attached to an RFID card that charges customers by the ounce for whatever they serve themselves. “You only pay for what you pour,” explained Krista.

Oz. (pronounced “ounce”) also serves a variety of food items, including chopped salads, burgers and small plates. For their ground beef, “We use local 41 Farms,” said Krista. “Their beef is certified Angus beef, sustainably raised, no hormones, no antibiotics. It’s really good quality meat.”

The Kanters have both been in the restaurant industry for 35 years. They originally moved to Austin, along with their two kids, to work in real estate, but eventually decided to return to restaurants.

Kids are part of what cemented the concept for the Kanters, who want to provide a place where adults can relax while their kids are entertained. “I want to make it okay to where parents feel comfortable with their kids running around,” said Krista. The restaurant features foosball, shuffleboard, a ring game, board games and a full gated playscape.

So far customers seem to love the concept, she said. Besides the novelty of being able to pour their own beer and wine from a selection of over 40 beer and wine draughts, customers are also enjoying the menu. “People are loving our food,” she said. “I’m getting such great feedback.”

Galaxy Cafe

Galaxy Cafe opened in Steiner Ranch on Feb. 19 and has received a warm welcome from the community, according to owner Kelly Chappell. ERIN MCQUEEN

In Steiner Ranch, Galaxy Cafe opened last week.

“Everything is going very well,” said Kelly Chappell, co-owner whose children are fifth generation Austinites. “The welcome from the community has been overwhelmingly positive and we couldn’t be happier with the way things are.”

Chappell owns Galaxy with Chris Courtney and Jay Bunda. The three owners all live in Central Austin and combined have over 100 years of restaurant experience. They own four Galaxy’s, Zocalo Cafe and Top Notch Hamburgers in the Greater Austin area.

When the company was closing its Galaxy Cafe in Austin’s Triangle at  North Lamar Boulevard and Guadalupe Street, it asked followers on Facebook, “where would they like to see the next Galaxy Cafe open?” Steiner Ranch, Avery Ranch and Dripping Springs were basically tied with thousands of comments, Chappell said.

They drove to Steiner and found a location they liked and were able to lease it, announcing last July they would open in February.  

“The decor is modern and clean.The food is fresh and clean. The service is friendly and welcoming,” Chappell said. There is a playground, two patios and inside dining.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner menu items are offered including wraps, soups, salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, meatloaf, tacos, bowls, pasta and grilled salmon plates. A kid’s menu and gluten-free options are also available.

“We don’t have a target audience, we hope to appeal to everyone,” Chappell said. “Our goal is to be your neighborhood restaurant that you can rely on.”

Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s franchise owner Sher Senior anticipates that her newest store out of seven will open in April at Quinlan Crossing near Randalls in Steiner Ranch.

Also in Steiner, Domino’s franchise owner Sher Senior anticipates that her newest store, located at Quinlan Crossing near Randalls, will open “mid to late April.”

This will be Senior’s seventh Domino’s franchise, and she also has stores in Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto and the Four Points store located in the Home Depot Shopping center.

“We’re splitting (the Four Points location) because, of course, the traffic is so bad at 620 that we just can’t service Steiner in a good time frame,” Senior explained. “We’re probably way under servicing that area. I think we’ll easily double what we’re doing in sales because we’re just right there and we can give a lot better, more predictable service… So people will be able to count on us.”

Senior’s only concern about her ability to hire and retain employees in an areas with a highly competitive job market. “Our biggest challenge is going to be staffing,” she said. “There’s not as many people that are working, a lot of them are commuting in to Austin. And so the pool of people that live there and work there is a little bit smaller.”

The store itself will be slightly larger than Senior’s Four Points location, with a few tables for dining in as well as bar seating, but she anticipates that the store will primarily provide delivery and carry-out.

Domino’s has played a central role in Senior’s life for the past 29 years. “That was my high school job actually… And then, once I got a car after I graduated from high school, I put myself through college… delivering pizzas. And then when I was in my last year of college our manager got fired and they offered me the position,” said Senior.

A low point was during the 2008 recession when there were, “stores going down all around the country and franchisees selling out… We had three at the time. It got really scary… But that was the turnaround,” when Domino’s introduced new menu items in 2009 and new sauce, crust and cheese in 2010.

Senior owes much to her career with Domino’s — including her husband, who she hired as a driver back when she was managing a Domino’s in Houston. “He came and worked for me and then a year later we started dating and got married and we moved to Austin,” she explained. They now have three kids, the oldest of whom, “was a product of Domino’s. He was there everyday for the first two years,” as Senior and her husband opened their first franchise.

Above all, Senior wants Steiner residents to know that, “Good service is coming,” after facing traffic issue delivering from the Four Points location. “We’ll be reliable and predictable.”

Sloan + Parker

Owner Katie Koran opened Sloan + Parker a few months ago in the Shops at Steiner. It features wine, beer and small bites.

At Sloan + Parker, located in the Shops at Steiner Ranch, food takes a backseat to the store’s wine offerings, which are available for purchase in a variety of quantities.

Owner Katie Koran opened Sloan + Parker on Nov. 8, 2018. She said that customers can buy wine by the glass, in a sample trio, or even by the bottle to take home. In addition to a large selection of wines, Sloan + Parker also features beer and cocktail menus, as well as a menu of food items. “There’s no kitchen,” said Koran, but they still serve a selection of small bites, bar snacks and desserts.

Koran was inspired to open the store because she felt it was something lacking in Steiner. “I would complain about not having a good place to get a glass of wine or buy a very nice bottle… So I did something about it,” she said.

The mother of three is grateful for her dedicated employees, Sam and Amber, who run the store and allow her the space to focus on the big picture in addition to the day-to-day operations. “Stepping away from the physical store gives you time to think about it in new ways, which is really nice,” she said.

For now, the store hosts tastings in addition to a variety of events, and Koran encourages guests to consider her location for any type of event or celebration.

Area residents can expect more local food and drink options in the future as IHOP, Chipotle and Chick-fil-A have all been announced for the Center at Four Points off of  RM 620 across from Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q.

Lynette Haaland contributed to this article.