It’s downtown Houston and I’m standing in a treehouse, high off the ground right in the middle of the upper levels of huge oak trees. Last night, The Grove restaurant opened its doors and its treehouse (actually the roof deck) at 1611 Lamar for a $100-a-person fundraiser for the still-under-construction park that surrounds it – Discovery Green.
This 11- or 12-acre park at Lamar and Crawford and nearby the George R. Brown Convention Center has as its centerpiece an amazing (for downtown) expanse of grounds (referred to by some as “that soccer field”) and the wood-and-glass restaurant scheduled for its formal opening sometime in January (pushed back from an earlier December target). Down below, a more casual restaurant, The Boathouse, will open sometime next month as well.
Mayor Bill White and other assorted VIPS came by for music, munchies and drinks. Owners are the Schiller Del Grande Restaurant Group with famed chef Robert Del Grande, known for Taco Milagro, Café Express and Café Annie. The investor group (Del Grande and wife Mimi and Lonnie and Candice Schiller) is taking a generally less complex route this time around. The Grove will have the three essential eses (seafood, steak and salads) while down below we’re talking hotdogs. Beer and wine and alcohol will also be available.
Word last night was that several companies throughout town are already trying to book their events at The Grove. With its wide decks, overhangs for nasty weather, and expansive interior, it’s another attempt to keep the energy going in downtown at night. Schiller Del Grande plans to light up the bar every night, no one should have trouble finding it. – Margaret Downing