Nate had been thinking of getting into the restaurant for a few years. He had spent the previous eight years traveling and performing with his acappella group No Better Cause, which he's still a part of today. But he was looking for a career that would keep him in Lincoln and off the road more. His main focus was on becoming a store operator for a Chick-fil-A restaurant. Realizing that opportunity wasn't likely to come for awhile, he decided to consider other options.
Discussing these options one evening over dinner with Kirstin and Bev, the idea came up of starting their own restaurant. Bev suggested one based around an entree that she had baked for years for her family called Reuben Roll. Reuben Roll is pie crust filled with Reuben sandwich ingredients, rolled up and baked like a jelly roll. It was always a favorite of Nate and his younger brother Luke. Both Nate and Luke had been known to invite friends over on Reuben Roll night to try this unique product that Bev had prepared to perfection. The Kellisons had never seen anything like this Reuben Roll at any restaurant, and they couldn't even find a recipe for it on the internet. And so, the Reuben Roll restaurant idea was born.
Bev and Nate got together the following weekend to try this idea in Bev's kitchen. They tried single-serving sized versions of the Reuben Roll and also tried a Pepperoni Pizza recipe using Bev's homemade marinara sauce. Both items tasted great, but they looked just like Hot Pockets. Wanting their product to look unique, Kirstin suggested making them round. So, the next weekend, Bev and Nate got together again with the same flavors, cut out circles of dough, place them in muffin tins, added the fillings, and baked them. When they came out of the oven, they looked like little pies. The Kellisons were satisfied with this presentation, and thus, the "Round"™ was born. And since the main product was going to be called a Round™, the name "Round-Abouts" seemed to fit well.
Over the next nine months, the Kellisons experimented with different items for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. During this time, they took every opportunity to take lunch to offices and invite people over to try the Rounds™ and rank their favorites. After receiving mostly favorable reviews, they felt that they were ready to launch their restaurant. So, they began searching for a location.
They found the perfect place for Round-Abouts Restaurant at 70th and A Streets at the newly revitalized Clocktower Shopping Center in Lincoln. The Kellisons signed a lease and began construction in the spring of 2011. The restaurant has an inviting ambience, embellished with original paintings by Lincoln artist Joyce Jacobs.
On August 1, 2011, Round-Abouts Restaurant opened its doors to the public and was an immediate hit with those who visited. Round-Abouts features 12 different flavors of Rounds™ plus four dessert Yo-Yo™ flavors and cinnamon rolls. Sides include a generous fresh fruit salad, green salad with Round-Abouts' own tomato and cucumber marinade, soups and sandwiches.
Round-Abouts' staff is friendly and enthusiastic, striving to make each guest's visit enjoyable. Weekly performances on the stage in the dining room feature some of Lincoln's most talented musicians.