Here’s the latest news in Houston’s restaurant scene:
Levy Park restaurants to break ground soon
Dallas chef Tim Love is taking two of his concepts to Houston’s Levy Park, a green space in the middle of the Upper Kirby District, just off U.S. Highway 59.
Spokespeople have confirmed that Love Shack and Woodshed Smokehouse will debut at the 5.6-acre park, which reopened last February after a $15 million renovation project. Kirby Grove, a mixed-use development that incorporates the park, posted renderings of the concepts on Instagram on May 17 and stated that “construction is about to begin.”
Other details about the upcoming eateries were not disclosed. Citing a rendering on the park’s website that labels a section “Future Restaurant,” Swamplot suggests that the concepts will be located near the garden and performance pavilion, near Wakeforest Avenue.
A wide view of the park.
VIEW SLIDESHOW 9 photos
Houston Business Journal previously reported that Love’s Woodshed would open in the park in mid-2018, and his team would operate concessions.
Love is best known for his flagship Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Fort Worth, and his other Texas restaurants include Queenie’s Steakhouse and White Elephant Saloon. He’s also been one of the investors on all three seasons of CNBC’s “Restaurant Startup” reality series.
“Tim’s restaurant will be a huge draw for Houstonians as well as our out-of-town visitors,” Doug Overman, Levy Park’s former director, said in a February 2017 press release.
Levy Park is part of Houston-based Midway’s Kirby Grove mixed-use development in Upper Kirby. The Levy Park renovation was completed through a partnership between the Upper Kirby District and the city of Houston, and it won HBJ’s 2018 Landmark Award in the public-private partnership category.
Owners turning Vietnamese restaurant into taco shop
The owners of Jenni’s Noodle House may have closed their Greenway Plaza location, but they’re plotting a new concept with a different cuisine.
Jenni and Scott Tranweaver will open Dream Tacos TX this summer. They made the announcement that the noodle house at 3773 Richmond Ave., suite 1C, would close May 18 on Facebook. That restaurant had opened about 18 months ago.
“We’ve been looking at doing something like this for a couple of years, and it’s going to happen,” Scott Tranweaver said in the Facebook video. “We’re going to reopen in two or three weeks.”
He added that they’ve ordered the sign, and marketing materials are on their way. You can check out the Dream Tacos website here.
Plans for the new concept include Mexican-inspired tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner to appeal to Greenway Plaza workers for a quick, affordable meal, according to CultureMap. Having a spacious patio will also help with the after-work crowd, the Tranweavers noted.
Jenni’s Noodle House has three other locations — 3111 Shepherd Drive, 2027 Post Oak Blvd. and 602 East 20th St. — and has about 50 employees, according to the restaurant’s website and a fundraising campaign for an employee that was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey.
Perry’s Steakhouse upcoming inner-Loop location to cost $8M
In January, news surfaced that Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille would finally open a location inside the 610 Loop. So far, the store at 1997 W. Gray St. #101 in the River Oaks Shopping Center is still on track to open in late 2018, a spokesperson said.
The Houston-based brand recently filed a $4 million construction permit to build out the space, and the spokesperson said the total investment cost for the new restaurant, which is located in a historical landmark building, will be more than $8 million.
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille will open its seventh Houston location at River Oaks Shopping Center late 2018.
Design plans submitted to the city by Chicago-based Aria Group Architects included maintaining the historical features of the building. Dallas-based Panterra Construction is the general contractor.
The January press release stated that the new location would feature Perry’s “latest concept look and feel” inside the two-story, 12,730-square-foot space. Plans at the time included the first level featuring an outdoor patio and bar, while the second floor would house the main dining room area.
Perry’s, which first opened as a butcher shop in 1979, has 15 locations open or under construction across Texas as well as in Chicago, Denver and Birmingham, Alabama, according to its website.
New Heights development looking for second restaurant tenant
Robert Downs chatted with Houston Business Journal after this story published. The brief below has been updated to reflect new information.
Veteran real estate broker Robert Downs of Robert Downs Properties has begun leasing an vacant lot in the Heights, according to CultureMap and Swamplot.
Dubbed Heights Village, the retail center is in the 500 block of Yale Street across from Alexan Yale Street apartments, around the corner from Height Mercentile, Downs told HBJ. The roughly 9,000-square-foot project broke ground in January, and the building’s shell is expected to be finished in May.
In addition to retail and offices — and maybe an art gallery — Down hopes to have two restaurant tenants at the project.
The first will be La Vibra, a new taco concept from the owners of General Joe Chopstix, he said. That restaurant leased a 1,800-square-foot space.
However, the second concept, which would fill a space between 2,500 and 4,000 square feet, hasn’t been secured yet, Downs said. He pictures a restaurant with a patio over a "sunken garden," according to CultureMap.
He expects rent to be $45 per square foot plus $12 in triple nets but is willing to negotiate because the tenant would be building a new storefront.
“I’ve talked to Ford Fry, but they picked up the Treadsack property,” Downs told CultureMap. “I’ve talked to Cherry Pie Hospitality. I’ve been talking to everybody.”
Local entity Springwell Realty LLC is the developer, Downs said. The owner also has a property in Midtown at 2313 Bagby St. Houston-based Cisneros Design Studio is the architect, and Bison Construction is the general contractor.
According to records with the Harris County Appraisal District, the nearly 40,000-square-foot parcel of land across from Alexan Yale Street was purchased in 2017 by E&I Investments Inc. and is dubbed Yale Street Plaza at Fifth Street. An 8,800-square-foot new commercial building was constructed last year. The 2018 appraisal put the property at $2.3 million.
Long-time Tex-Mex restaurant shutters
A Tex-Mex restaurant in Houston’s East End has permanently closed its doors after 62 years.
Fiesta Loma Linda Tex-Mex Restaurant & Bar shuttered in early May for unknown reasons, according to the Houston Chronicle and Eater Houston. The store was at 2111 Telephone Road.
A message on the restaurant’s website thanks friends and customers “for their years of patronage.”
Fiesta Loma Linda was known for its queso as well as other classic Tex-Mex dishes, per reports.
Concept from RCI Hospitality plots major Houston expansion
Houston-based RCI Hospitality Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: RICK) has undertaken a major expansion of its Bombshells Restaurant & Bar concept, known for its military décor and “Bombshell Girls.”
Currently, four locations are open in greater Houston, but that number will double by the end of 2019, according to a spokesperson and press release. The brand’s largest location — 10,900-square-feet plus a 2,800-square-foot patio — opened in April at 13965 South Freeway in Pearland. That store has been averaging sales of $160,000 per week.
RCI Hospitality Holdings Inc. recently opened a location of Bombshells Restaurant & Bar in Pearland.
Upcoming locations, which will be roughly 8,000 square feet inside and feature 2,800-square-foot patios, include:
A store near Interstate 10 in east Houston. It’s projected to open in September 2018.A store at 6888 Southwest Freeway in southwest Houston. It’s projected to open in December 2018. A $1.5 million building permit for this location was recently filed by Friendswood-based Tannos Construction & Development. A store near U.S. 249 in Tomball. It’s projected to open in March 2019.A store in Katy. It’s projected to open in June 2019 as the company is still finalizing a site.
In addition to the four Bombshells in greater Houston, the chain has one store each in Dallas and Austin and plans to grow in San Antonio and South Florida.
Although all the Houston stores are corporate-owned, the brand also offer franchising opportunities. An interested franchisee must have at least $750,000 in liquidity, $2 million in net worth and at least 10 years of casual dining and bar experience — or hire an operations partner — according to the chain’s website. Initial investment costs range from $1.8 million to $3.1 million.