If you haven't been to Katy Trail Ice House, here's the best explanation: It's Uptown's most popular backyard patio.
The Uptown original spawned a restaurant in Plano called Katy Trail Ice House Outpost, and it, too, is a popular spot for outdoor sipping.
Unlike the first two Katy Trails, K.T. Burger is an order-at-the-counter place. It's one of the few casual eateries in Highland Park Village, which is stocked with high-end stores such as Chanel, Escada and Christian Louboutin. There wasn't a place to grab a quick, inexpensive bite with kids in tow, says co-owner Buddy Cramer, who was born and raised in the Highland Park area.
Cramer's crew re-designed the space with reclaimed wood planks and retro signs on the walls. He exposed original pink brick from the building, which opened in 1931. He also added new entrance and exit doors to K.T. Burger, which is helpful for those who remember the oddly-shaped space that made entering former restaurants Village Kitchen, Toko V and Village Marquee seem strange.
K.T. Burger is a burgers-and-beer place that happens to have some very fancy neighbors.
Part of the burger joint wraps into the Village Theatre, the movie theater that anchors Highland Park Village. Cramer and his team built a soda shop bar adjoining the two spaces, where kids and adults can post up on black spinning stools and order shakes. They can also take their ice cream into the theater.
K.T. Burger's menu closely resembles Katy Trail's, with many of the same tacos and burgers making the list. Sides include Katy Trail's famous cheese fries and jalapeño bottle caps, among others.
And yes: The beerita (a beer-based margarita) made the menu.
The restaurant will also serve eight wines and 12 beers on tap, plus a selection of sugar-cane sodas served in glass bottles.
The restaurant is co-owned by Cramer, Ben Ralston, Ray Washburne and Stephen Summers, and all have ties to Highland Park. (Washburne and Summers, in fact, are part-owners in Highland Park Village.)
"We grew up around here and wanted to do something in our part of town," Cramer says.
Keeping with the Katy Trail theme, K.T. Burger has a patio. They even planted a tree on the patio so it has a backyard vibe.
32 Highland Park Village, Highland Park. 214-906-0546. Open every day, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., starting May 22. hpktburger.com.