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Redefining Dining

Explore Jay Roush's journey as a restauranteur at Moonie's Burger House and Tuscano Italian Kitchen

If you grew up as a military brat, you are likely familiar with moving great distances and being introduced to many regional cultures. This was the experience of Jay Roush. With a father in the US Army, Roush traveled both across the States and internationally. He has been exposed to food and cooking styles from around the world, taking those years of knowledge with him to the Greater Austin area.

“When I bought Moonie’s - Anderson Mill, I had never actually worked in a restaurant. But I’m passionate about food, love to cook, and understand good customer service,” says Roush. “Moonie’s was a great place to get my start in the restaurant business. The Anderson Mill location was a successful store—we just added some enhancements.”

These enhancements included focusing on food quality, creating a burger of the month, and making more menu items in-house. Gone away are the days of pre-cooked bacon and frozen chicken tenders! Roush also updated the look and feel of the restaurant through renovations targeted at improving the overall customer experience.

“All of this proved to be very useful with the purchase of Gino’s and the launch of Tuscano,” says Roush. “Of course, a full-service, upscale restaurant is much more labor-intensive. It requires more time, effort, and energy. That being said, we accomplished in the first five months at Tuscano what took years to accomplish at Moonie’s.”

At Tuscano, Roush tackled everything from building upgrades to staffing to menu formulation. Throughout the process of this complete rebrand, the goal was to really turn things around and drive the sustainable business that the location deserved. Today, Roush feels most fulfilled when guests come into Tuscano and rave about its improvements.

“I tell my staff at both restaurants that customers can go to ten different Italian or burger restaurants within a five-mile radius. We have to give them reasons to come here,” says Roush. “Part of that is great food and, to some degree, menu items they can’t get anywhere else. The other part is doing everything we can to make their visit to our restaurants enjoyable.”

In an industry that is known for its ups and downs, Roush is proud of the memorable dining experiences that his team has been able to establish. And whether you are in the mood for Fettucini Laredo or a Blue Moon burger, they have you covered.

VISIT THE RESTAURANTS

TUSCANO ITALIAN KITCHEN: 1525 Cypress Creek Rd, Cedar Park

MOONIE’S BURGER HOUSE: 13450 Research Blvd, Austin

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