The well-liked restaurant just off Kirby Drive is known for serving fresh produce from its own garden and meats sourced from local producers. Chef Randy Evans of Haven and Philippe Gaston of Cove Cold Bar (the restaurant inside Haven) will be moving on as the property is being sold to the owner of The Union Kitchen, according to the Chronicle.
Morago writes that Paul Lewis, who recently left Osteria Mazzantini as rumors of its imminent demise began to swirl, will be heading up the kitchen at the new restaurant that will be taking Haven's place.
After dinner this evening, Evans will be headed to New Orleans for the Great American Seafood Cookoff taking place August 2, and he's unable to comment until papers are signed sealing the deal.
Evans is a popular fellow here at the Houston Press thanks to all he's done to assist with Menu of Menus over the last few years. Most recently, he served as emcee for the Iron Fork competition, providing live commentary as the Kevin Naderi of Roost and Kevin Bryant of Eleven XI battled it out.
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When Haven first opened in late 2009, it immediately received praise for being on the cutting edge of the farm-to-table movement. Esquire magazine called it one of the 20 best new restaurants in the country in 2010, and Texas Monthly also put it on a best new restaurants list in 2011.
Evans's sous chef Gaston opened Cove Cold Bar inside the already successful restaurant in late 2012, adding a new dimension to the gourmet comfort food style establishment. Gaston brought bright, fresh, raw seafood to pair with Haven's rustic meat and veggie dishes. Together, it was a great combination.
Sources have indicated that the change in ownership might be due to increasing rent prices in Upper Kirby or a high mortgage on the space, a topic we've covered previously on this blog. Trenza recently closed in West Ave, and in the past year, we've seen the closure of Taco Milagro, Saint Genevieve, the so-called "funeral bars" (Roak, OTC and Hendrick's), Cafe Express and Brio Tuscan Grill.
It's expected that paperwork for the deal will be signed tomorrow (Friday), and after that, Evans may be able to shed some light on what led to the surprising closure of Haven. We'll update when we learn more.