While local eateries in Austin have come and gone throughout the years, Kerbey Lane Café has been a mainstay since it opened its doors back in the 1980s. Located in a bungalow on Kerbey Lane in central Austin, founders David and Patricia Ayer operated their restaurant where they also lived. Their aim was to bring community-inspired, made-from-scratch comfort food to central Austinites. For the next 40+ years, that’s just what they did, all while keeping the business 100% locally owned and operated.
Today, Kerbey Lane Café is still owned and operated by the Ayer family through CEO Mason Ayer. Kerbey Lane has eight Austin area locations, plus a recent addition in San Antonio. Its rotating seasonal menu keeps options fresh, and it’s not rare to see a line out the door on weekend mornings. Its pancakes are so beloved that die-hard Kerbey Lane fans can find its signature pancake mix for purchase at local grocery stores, but let’s not forget about its celebrated queso! As the ‘Official Queso Partner’ of Austin FC, soccer fans can now enjoy some famous “Kerbey Queso” at Q2 Stadium.
Outside of providing delicious, affordable meals to the community, Kerbey Lane Café also gives back. Last year it launched Kerbey Kindness, which is a platform for regularly lending support to local organizations in need. Kerbey Lane Café also supports local artists. Dine-in guests enjoy walls lined with beautiful, rotating art. Art shows last four months and artists, keep all proceeds from their sales. These are the small touches that remind us that David and Patricia Ayer built more than a diner; they built a lasting Austin icon.
Brittany Williams is a writer and Realtor® in Austin where she loves exploring the city’s green spaces with her husband, son and daughter.