The Brits’ Invasion of the Rock

by Marika Flatt on May 28, 2021 in Food+Drink, Austin,

One of the nicest blokes you’ve ever met, Tim Jones — along with his equally delightful missus Jules, moved from the UK to Round Rock in 2018. Jones, who ran pubs back home, saw a need in the north Austin suburb. He took on the daunting task of filling it.

After much work and several COVID-19 delays, the Kenney Fort Pub finally opened in November, 2020. 

The Brit immersion at the Kenney Fort starts with the impressive murals inside, created by local artist Sarah J. Blankenship.
Photo courtesy artist Sarah J. Blankenship

Get Your Brit On

Sitting across from the mammoth Kalahari Resort, the pub might not be situated in a historic British building (it actually sits in a fairly new strip center), but Jones and his team have gone above and beyond to create a special British experience for every guest.

That Brit immersion starts with the impressive murals inside, created by local artist Sarah J. Blankenship, which depict a fabulous blend of British inspiration with an homage to Texas. From the London Tube (subway) to the telephone booth, the artwork is a fun feature providing a great aesthetic.

The Kenney Fort Pub beer menu features 30+ locally sourced craft beers, as well as fare from across the Atlantic. The seasonal farm-to-table menu uses only the best ingredients, creating home-cooked, heart-felt grub. Courtesy photo

Beer Menu

For all of those armchair travelers who can’t get over the pond to visit the UK but are looking to scratch that itch, the pub offers 31 taps of craft beer, many of them Texas crowd favorites. Due to COVID restrictions there’s currently only one beer from the UK on offer. But other authentic brews are anxiously awaited. The newbies will no doubt further boost the monthly beer-pairing dinners. (Whiskey-pairing dinners have recently been added.)

Just like back across the Atlantic, the pub has regulars that sit at the bar and watch sports on the big screen televisions (if Austin FC is playing, you will catch it here with other cheering fans). They enjoy bloody good beers (and other adult beverages) like the Pinthouse IPA Training Bines and Tahitian Dreaming from Southern Heights.

Kenney Fort Pub hosts a brunch with an option for a full English breakfast. Arrive hungry, as this plateful consists of British bacon, British chipolatas, Heinz baked beans, black pudding, fried mushrooms, grilled tomato, fried bread, and eggs your way – fried or scrambled. Courtesy photo

Old-Style British Pub Grub

Another draw for diners is their uber-trad British menu featuring a delicious — and large — fish and chips (their top seller) and Scotch eggs, plus more familiar Texan nosh: Angus short ribs, a brisket burger with a pretzel bun and other tasty treats. All, of course, perfectly paired with a beer.

Kenney Fort Pub offers a diverse menu including some Texan classics, together with a quintessentially British selection of dishes people may not have heard of, which add to the novelty. Shown: Scotch Eggs — boiled eggs wrapped in British-style sausage, rolled in bread crumbs, fried and served with picalilli. Courtesy photo

Creating Community

Jones and his team aim to create a community pub where people can enjoy each other’s company and have a great evening. During the Texas snowstorm, Jones opened up the pub and offered hot drinks and a charging station for anyone who wanted to come into the warmth and enjoy a great meal. That, in and of itself, is a great illustration of the community that Jones is aiming to build — a home, thousands of miles away from his original country.

In the growing Central Texas town of Round Rock, Kenney Fort Pub is a vibrant new pub/restaurant that is family-friendly, includes a spacious outside area for seating with a children’s play area, and a great social bar along with a stylish modern dining area. Photo Tim Jones

So whether it’s a cold drink in the Texas heat that you’re looking for, live music on the weekends or even just a hug from Jones himself, head on over to Kenney Fort British Pub for a memorable experience that you will want to create time and time again.

Photo Sav Shrestha

Cover photo courtesy Kenney Fort Pub

A confirmed foodie, Marika Flatt is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine and was named “Outstanding Austin Communicator” 2021 by Women Communicators of Austin. Flatt has been the voice of the Weekend Trip Tips on NPR’s Texas Standard for over three years and is a regular travel contributor to TV shows across the state.