By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
The Rock House Bar and Trailer Park near the intersection of RM 620 and RM 2222 has new owners.
In 2016, Steiner Ranch residents Mark and Carrie Kudela purchased the property around what used to be one of the first homes in the heart of the Four Points area. They created and opened Rock House Bar and Trailer Park in June of 2017 with a handful of food trailers on site, surrounding the former home, which was converted into a bar.
This summer, they sold the bar portion of the business to Ivan Cruz, Jeffrey Tobey and Adrian Garcia.
“We wanted to spend more time with family and bought a house in Park City we are renovating, and want to spend more time there as well,” Carrie Kudela said.
The Kudelas still own the building and property and manage the food trailers including Mighty Fine, New Orleans Eatery, Kababeque and Tacos Dona Rosita.
The new owner trio officially took over on July 29. Garcia, who also lives in Steiner, shares their vision for Rock House.
1) What’s the story of how this opportunity came about?
Ivan and Tobey both worked as bar managers at Rock House since it opened. Earlier this year they found out that Mark and Carrie Kudela were looking to sell the bar. Ivan and Tobey approached Mark about buying it. Mark expressed that he really wanted to sell the business to his employees, something he has done before. I (Adrian) was brought in as a partner/investor. The three of us worked hard to make it happen. There are a ton of logistics when it comes to purchasing a bar, including getting a new TABC license and working over all vendor contracts. The three of us had to hustle to work out all the details in a short timeline.
2) You could run a bar in many other places, why Four Points?
This decision was made by Mark and Carrie Kudela. They saw the location for sale and decided to make it a bar. We think they made a great choice as we serve customers from Four Points, Steiner Ranch, and even Lakeway, Bee Cave and Cedar Park.
3) What is the most challenging part of running Rock House?
Getting the word out that we are here. We get customers in daily that tell us they didn’t know a bar was here. Even though we are at a busy intersection there are still lots of people who come in for the first time puzzled.
4) What is the most rewarding part?
The fact that we get to spend time with our customers, many of whom are friends. We also enjoy shaping the future of this bar.
5) What career/work backgrounds have gotten the three of you to this point?
Ivan Born and raised in New York City, 20 years in the food and beverage industry, over a decade bartending, years of experience in the live entertainment promotion industry;
Tobey Native of Austin, attended Lake Travis High School, trained as a culinary chef with 26 years in the food and beverage industry, 15 years bartending and bar management, has always wanted to own and operate a bar;
Adrian Native of Texas (Houston, Austin the last five years), over 25 years in information technology, 12 of those years as a lead engineer at Visa Inc., and five years of business management, always wanted to own a bar.
4) Who is responsible for what in the business?
We have divided up responsibilities around each of our strengths. I handle finance, technology and back office work, Tobey and Ivan split duties over operations, Ivan handles marketing. At least two of us are able to cover any and all owner responsibilities. We have democratized all major decision making and have found our partnership works well to cover all aspects of running the business.
6) How often do you have live music?
We have live music every Friday and Saturday and occasionally on Thursday nights. We have two big events coming up: Halloween Party (Saturday, Oct. 26 with Rouge Collective Band featuring Robert Wagner, the singer of Suede) and Black Friday Gathering (Friday, Nov. 29 with 1:4:5 from Houston).
7) Working on any changes?
We are working on ways to improve the atmosphere and service for our customers. We want to host larger music events, make the yard more comfortable for all seasons, and making the location more family friendly as we often get families who come out to enjoy the selection of food trucks available on the property. We’re also working on solutions for additional parking.