shady 75

Lack of Restaurant Diversity In the Heights

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JCR    10
On ‎5‎/‎3‎/‎2017 at 8:46 PM, CrockpotandGravel said:


Warehouse Bar and Chill closed some months ago. According to Houstonia, Gary Mosely and the Creek Group purchased it.

 

Cactus Cove: This forthcoming bar and grill, tentatively named Cactus Cove, is one of several new concepts on the horizon from the Creek Group (Onion Creek Cafe, Cedar Creek Cafe, Lowbrow). Details are hush-hush for now, but look for the eatery to take over the former Warehouse Bar & Chill in the Timbergrove neighborhood.



https://www.houstoniamag.com/articles/2017/5/1/houston-restaurants-to-get-excited-for

Interesting.  Gary has the magic touch so I'm sure it will be a success.  The WB&C people didn't have a clue to what they were doing.

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JCR    10

Another Heights restaurant closure coming up!

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s3mh    243
17 hours ago, JCR said:

Another Heights restaurant closure coming up!

 

Shade and Glass Wall are closed.  Both are being retooled.  Shade will be "Alice Blue", a more trendy venue.  Glass Wall will try a more casual concept.  

 

Something has got to give at Treadsack.  Graham Laborde jumped ship.  Bernadine's was his creation and he got his dad involved in propping up the restaurant when everything hit the fan.  Richard Knight left Hunky Dory and it has not been the same.  I doubt that those concepts can survive too long without big talent in the kitchen.  And no big name chef is going to come on board until the company emerges from bankruptcy.  A bit of a catch 22.  

 

https://houston.eater.com/2017/5/15/15641640/treadsack-chefs-leaving-graham-laborde-richard-knight

 

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Triton    8809
47 minutes ago, s3mh said:

 

Shade and Glass Wall are closed.  Both are being retooled.  Shade will be "Alice Blue", a more trendy venue.  Glass Wall will try a more casual concept.  

 

Something has got to give at Treadsack.  Graham Laborde jumped ship.  Bernadine's was his creation and he got his dad involved in propping up the restaurant when everything hit the fan.  Richard Knight left Hunky Dory and it has not been the same.  I doubt that those concepts can survive too long without big talent in the kitchen.  And no big name chef is going to come on board until the company emerges from bankruptcy.  A bit of a catch 22.  

 

https://houston.eater.com/2017/5/15/15641640/treadsack-chefs-leaving-graham-laborde-richard-knight

 

 

Looks like those restaurants will likely close.

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JCR    10
21 hours ago, JCR said:

Another Heights restaurant closure coming up!

This one at the end of the month.

 

An additional closure is the Taquito Rico on Main and Pecore also at the end of this month.  The building owner has other plans for that lot.  The business owner will have a taco truck in the same area at some point.

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mcook2002    16
2 hours ago, JCR said:

This one at the end of the month.

 

An additional closure is the Taquito Rico on Main and Pecore also at the end of this month.  The building owner has other plans for that lot.  The business owner will have a taco truck in the same area at some point.

Ok so which restaurant is it?

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s3mh    243
41 minutes ago, Triton said:

 

Hunky Dory and Bernadine's are owned by a separate entity from Down House and the rest of the currently surviving Treadsack establishments.  They could now convert Hunky Dory and Bernadine's bankruptcy into a Chap 7 from an 11 and lighten their load by a lot.  It is sad because but for the mismanagement these restaurants should have been able to be around for a long time.  At least they leave behind some nice architecture for someone else to make a go at it.

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Angostura    339
22 hours ago, Triton said:

 

Hunky Dory and Bernadine's closing!

 

 

Both of these concepts were very much tied to the chefs that created them. Once both of the them left, closing them was probably the right thing to do.

 

Here's hoping someone snaps up these (still pretty nice) 2nd generation restaurant spaces quickly.

 

 

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s3mh    243

We Olive opens on Saturday.  Alice Blue looks to be in soft opening.  Balls Out Burger opened this week.  

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Angostura    339
On 6/21/2017 at 9:30 AM, s3mh said:

http://houston.culturemap.com/news/restaurants-bars/06-19-17-ascension-coffee-dallas-heights-waterworks-braun-enterprises/#slide=0

 

Braun looks to be moving fast on the Waterworks project.  I would say that the Heights is approaching coffee house over saturation, but Ascension is more of a full service cafe/wine bar.

 

This was pretty much the concept for Downhouse, which originally opened from 7AM to 2AM

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s3mh    243

http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/heights/business/article/Hopdoddy-signs-on-as-tenant-in-Heights-Waterwork-11296852.php?ipid=hpctp

 

I like Hopdoddy . . . . 171 miles away from Houston.  

 

It is really time to see some Houston area talent step up and open some new restaurants in the Heights instead of getting infested with additional locations for Dallas, Austin, Denver and Atlanta restaurant concepts.  

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Angostura    339

Yes, but all the incentives run the other way.

 

In order to open a restaurant, you need a space, a concept, and money. All of these are finite resources. Sometimes the space drives the concept, but more often, the money does. It's a far less risky proposition to invest in a proven concept (or chef, or partnership) than an unproven one, so the incentive for investors is to replicate existing successful concepts.

 

The incentive for the chef/operator is the same. It's a lot higher return on effort to establish recipes, processes, systems, training, etc. once, and then replicate it than it is to create a new concept for every new location. Back-of-house staff work long hours for a long time for not much money, so when they get a chance to provide for themselves and their families by opening 2nd and 3rd and 15th locations of a successful concept, they have every right to take it. Every wish that a chef-driven concept remain a single location with the chef in the kitchen in reality puts a ceiling (and a pretty low one) on that chef's income.

 

While I love new and interesting and unique restaurants, I'm more interested in getting delicious food made from quality ingredients in a pleasant atmosphere at a reasonable price. If that's in the 2nd Bernie's, or the 2nd Cloud 10, or the 2nd Helen, or the 3rd Superica, or the 5th Hopdoddy, or the 17th Snooze, I'm OK with that.

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s3mh    243
1 hour ago, Angostura said:

Yes, but all the incentives run the other way.

 

In order to open a restaurant, you need a space, a concept, and money. All of these are finite resources. Sometimes the space drives the concept, but more often, the money does. It's a far less risky proposition to invest in a proven concept (or chef, or partnership) than an unproven one, so the incentive for investors is to replicate existing successful concepts.

 

The incentive for the chef/operator is the same. It's a lot higher return on effort to establish recipes, processes, systems, training, etc. once, and then replicate it than it is to create a new concept for every new location. Back-of-house staff work long hours for a long time for not much money, so when they get a chance to provide for themselves and their families by opening 2nd and 3rd and 15th locations of a successful concept, they have every right to take it. Every wish that a chef-driven concept remain a single location with the chef in the kitchen in reality puts a ceiling (and a pretty low one) on that chef's income.

 

While I love new and interesting and unique restaurants, I'm more interested in getting delicious food made from quality ingredients in a pleasant atmosphere at a reasonable price. If that's in the 2nd Bernie's, or the 2nd Cloud 10, or the 2nd Helen, or the 3rd Superica, or the 5th Hopdoddy, or the 17th Snooze, I'm OK with that.

 

There are plenty of chefs in Houston who can get the backing to do a new concept in the Heights, even with the steep rise in rents.  There are a few in the pipeline.  But the commercial leasing agents have a big bias for chains and restaurant groups.  

 

My problem with getting the 2nd, 3rd, 5th etc. location is that quality is always compromised when an additional location is added.  The 15th Torchy's is a distant relative to the original food truck in Austin.  Bakery Lorraine in San Antonio was my favorite spot for breakfast when I was out there for work.  But they opened a second location and have seriously dumbed down their menu to help them mass produce.  

 

And then there is just the benefit of having a restaurant scene that is doing something new and interesting instead of just making existing restaurants more convenient.  

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Houston19514    2162
Posted (edited)
On 7/19/2017 at 10:19 AM, s3mh said:

 

There are plenty of chefs in Houston who can get the backing to do a new concept in the Heights, even with the steep rise in rents.  There are a few in the pipeline.  But the commercial leasing agents have a big bias for chains and restaurant groups.  

 

My problem with getting the 2nd, 3rd, 5th etc. location is that quality is always compromised when an additional location is added.  The 15th Torchy's is a distant relative to the original food truck in Austin.  Bakery Lorraine in San Antonio was my favorite spot for breakfast when I was out there for work.  But they opened a second location and have seriously dumbed down their menu to help them mass produce.  

 

And then there is just the benefit of having a restaurant scene that is doing something new and interesting instead of just making existing restaurants more convenient.  

 

Yeah, why can't Houston chefs like Ryan Hildebrand, Mike Tran, Kent Dormas, David Colby, Justin Yu bring new concepts to the Heights?

Edited by Houston19514

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Jus Mac    6

Its becoming more and more difficult for one off concepts due to the investments needed to open.  Rent has escalated at an astonishing rate over the last 2 years.  Just 2 years ago you could get into a space at around $25 - $29 sq ft.  Today those same spaces are now at $50 - $70 sq ft and that's the gross rent not including the NNN's.  The larger restaurant groups/chains that have scale have also contributed to the rise in rent rates.  This is why you're for the most part only seeing restaurants from out of the city i.e hopdoddy, shake shack, etc.  These are huge players with deep deep pockets.  If you look around you'll find smaller local restaurants struggling to keep pace with rent and labor increases.  A lot of these restaurants arent advertised as struggling publicly but many are up for sale or attempting to have their spaces subleased out.  

 

Today's restaurant landscape is a day and night comparison from only a couple of years ago.  Expect food prices to keep going up to combat the cost of doing business.  Its a perfect storm;  buyer habits have changed, cheaper groceries, a down economy combined with what I say is an over saturation of restaurants. 

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