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Arrive by Water to Boat Town Burger Bar on Lake LBJ

Forget the wheels; arrive by water. With room for 35 boats and 10 watercraft (and even a sea plane!), Boat Town Burger Bar is Lake LBJ’s biggest, newest restaurant on the water. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp

Boat on up to Lake LBJ’s newest restaurant on the water. Urban Austin meets laid-back lake life at Boat Town Burger Bar, which will be serving fresh food and cold drinks all summer long.

The restaurant sits on Lake LBJ near the 2900 bridge in Kingsland. It faces due south, so there are no sun issues in the afternoon. The cool lakeside breeze makes for a comfortable atmosphere, and plenty of shade allows guests to comfortably sit on any of the three lakeside patios, even when temperatures creep above 100 degrees. There’s a sandy beach for the kids, picnic tables, palm trees, and a lush expanse of grass.

“Parking” isn’t a problem here, either. There are 35 boat slips and room for 10 watercraft. Personal watercraft, speedboats, sailboats, and even seaplanes can find a spot at the dock. For guests who prefer to roll up on wheels, there’s a parking lot in the back next to the full-service Boat Town dealership.

Grab a craft cocktail, a frozen drink, or an ice-cold beer at Boat Town Burger Bar, open daily. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp

Boat Town Burger Bar comes by way of the Texas capital, where Joyce and Louie Raven — fifth-generation Austinites — opened the very first Boat Town dealership in 1961. Boat Town soon became a successful family business, growing purely by word-of-mouth.

In 1986, it was time for Louie to pass the torch to his son, Clayton, and daughter-in-law, Karen. As Austin grew, so did the dealership. In November 2017, the family decided to expand to a second location in Kingsland, this time with a lakeside restaurant attached.

“This idea was 10 years in the making,” Clayton Raven said. The couple found inspiration on business trips across the United States, Mexico, and Canada. “We’ve taken bits and pieces from 30 different places and rolled them into one.”

Kingsland was a fit choice for their business model, which was further solidified when they toured Lake LBJ after deciding to open a dealership in the area.

“We were on the lake, and I said to my brother-in-law, ‘Let’s get a burger and a beer and a cocktail,’” Clayton said. “He said, ‘There’s not a place.’”

Boat Town Burger Bar is attached to the full-service Boat Town dealership, which sells high-performance, luxury brands such as MasterCraft and Barletta. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp

“We had the concept in mind when we purchased the land,” Karen Raven said. “We saw a lot of boats on LBJ, and we saw a need to do a fun restaurant and a place to look at boats at the same time.”

The restaurant opened in early July. Guests can build their own burger with gourmet, high-quality ingredients or choose from among signature menu items such as the 3 Chile Burger, the Ranch Hand fried chicken, and the Mayflower lobster roll.

Ice-cold beers and cocktails are served as well. Be sure to try the Mastercraft Mule or the Barletta Banana Colada, drinks paying tribute to the big-name watercraft brands guests can view inside the Boat Town dealership.

“We’re really fortunate to be in the Hill Country. There’s no other place in Texas that has the water that we have,” Raven said. “Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, they may have something, but they don’t have the Highland Lakes.”

Boat Town Burger Bar is located at 151 Melodie Lane in Kingsland and open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Visit the website or call (325) 388-4343 for more information.

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