Andy Means and Jessie Katz are changing the restaurant game by giving out five-star food that’ll fulfill your cravings in a casual setting with bargain prices.
Their new restaurant, Hank’s, is opening in Windsor Park, and they’re serving up American cuisine with a French twist. Means was traditionally trained in French cooking, as evident in his former restaurant Henri’s, which was a quaint French cheese shop. With Hank’s, Means decided to take a different route by making more bar and grill food. Nevertheless, Means’ French background is still evident in the restaurant’s freshly baked baguettes and mouth-watering cheese selection.
The couple made the new restaurant their own, working with the same architect who designed their home to design the building. They also created a menu based off of their past experiences and travels.
Katz and Means created the restaurant with the vision of making it “the place to be” and the heart of the neighborhood. Katz said she and Means wanted the restaurant to be accessible for large groups, so people could easily bring their friends and family.
“We wanted it to feel kind of like your own vacation,” Katz said. “We want it to take you to a different place.”
The couple said they had been looking for a space where they could expand into a bigger bar and grill restaurant, as they wanted to transition from the small French cheese shop niche. However, they still hold true to Means’ French culinary skills, offering an abundance of baguettes, bread and cheese.
Means said that he holds his restaurant true to the standard of making everything in-house because he particularly enjoys eating at locations where the chefs have complete control over the meal.
“We wrote all the menus, and that’s something that we collaborated on,” Means said. “(The food is) from our travels and what we love, and we brought it to Austin and made it fit what Austin’s about.”
Means said they wanted to make sure their food connected to the city, and they want their food to be something you remember and crave.
The entire interior was decorated by local Austin artisans, and Katz said they built the restaurant with friends and family. When choosing the location, the owners said they wanted a place that was Austin without being downtown. Means said Hank’s location is the center of the neighborhood, and they hope to become such a landmark that Windsor village becomes known as the Hank’s neighborhood.
The owners said an important part of the restaurant, to them, is being affordable. They wanted a place where people could come eat a meal, get a drink and feel like they’re not scraping by.
The restaurant even provides a place for UT students. Biology junior Kelsey Simpson visited Hank’s and said the food is affordable and delicious.
“I think Hank’s will give UT students an affordable, chic place to hang out and eat,” Simpson said.
Hank’s is currently in its soft opening period, but that hasn’t stopped the masses from flocking to the restaurant. Means said the restaurant has been full every night and that it has necessitated that their staff learn very quickly.
“It’s made us grow up very fast,” Means said. “We’ve been in restaurants for a long time — I’ve done big things and I’ve done small things — and this is a beast.”