Berg Hospitality is uniting with Ancorian to bring two new restaurants to W. 11th in the Heights. Owner and founder Benjamin Berg is teaming up with the Houston-based Ancorian, a regional investment and development company, to open Trattoria Sofia, an Italian restaurant at 911 W. 11th in the space formerly occupied by Presidio, which closed in October 2018. Berg is completely remodeling the existing 2,500 square feet with all-new interiors, lighting and furnishings. The restaurateur is also adding an outdoor patio and bar with landscaping meant to evoke a feeling of a lost garden. Named after his firstborn daughter, Trattoria Sofia is slated to open in May 2021.
The other Heights project, The Docks at Timbergrove, is an even bigger venture. Ancorian partners Michael Sperandio and Neil Martin are developing the 50,000 square foot warehouse space at 2505 W. 11th into a mixed-use development which will feature retail shops, restaurants, bars and possibly co-working spaces. The project will feature 30,000 square feet dedicated to retail space and 20,000 square feet to covered parking. Berg Hospitality Group will have 8,000 square feet for its restaurant concept with more details forthcoming later in the year. The plans are to maintain the industrial character of the building which once housed a commercial door and hardware company. Construction begins in March 2021 and the restaurant is expected to open in January 2022.
Berg said in a press release, “To have two outposts in one of Houston’s most dynamic and fastest growing neighborhoods is an incredible opportunity for us. I have really fallen in love with the area, and I am excited to partner with Ancorian to create a new, lively dining and social scene for not only Timbergrove/Heights residents, but all Houstonians.” Berg Hospitality Group's current portfolio includes B&B Butchers & Restaurant, in Houston and Fort Worth, B.B. Lemon, B.B. Italia Kitchen & Bar, The Annie Café & Bar and Turner’s.
At 4 p.m. that day, owner Herman Meyer arrived to survey the damage. Operations Manager Jason Carlisle told the Houston Press that Meyer was emotional about the building but the "loss of the trophy elk, deer and fish brought him the most grief". The restaurant showcased 80 percent of Meyer's wild game and fish taxidermy collection from his many years as a hunter.
Currently, the family is in the process of renting out another restaurant down the road for the next year and hope to close the deal February 26 and begin retro-fitting the new space to fit its needs. The company is bringing in employees from Midway to expedite the process. All employees were paid for the previous ice storm week and the week of the fire. The company is working to schedule displaced staff at the other two businesses and have already moved managers and key employees to the meat market and deli.
There is a planned benefit for Midway BBQ at MKT Distillery, 5373 1st, March 6. Hayden Baker, the local musician who actually first spotted the fire in the early morning hours and called 911, according to the Houston Chronicle, will provide live music from 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Darrell Wayne will also be performing at the event.
Down House, 1801 Yale, closed February 21, according to a post on its Facebook page. The Heights restaurant and bar began as a coffeehouse on the forefront of the emerging restaurant scene in Houston and was the flagship venture for the now defunct Treadsack Management from Mothership LLC. Founded by Chris Cusack and Joey Treadway, the restaurant group also spawned Hunky Dory and Bernadine's which would rise to the top of the critics' favorites list only to shutter almost as quickly. Down House, however, remained a fixture in the Heights despite bankruptcies, lawsuits and other behind-the-scenes drama at Treadway, as reported by the Houston Press in 2017. Its Chicken and Waffles and stellar Bloody Marys kept Heights residents happy within its vine-covered brick walls.
As for its most recent announcement, Cusack told the Press, " In short, our business just wasn't designed for the year we've had. Between the shutdowns and restrictions in service, there just wasn't enough business for us to make sense of moving forward long term. I feel so lucky that we had ten great years serving the Heights and we are all excited to turn the page to the next chapter." He added that he hopes to find "homes" for his amazing staff and that anyone interested should contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His final comment was " Support Southern Smoke and the Independent Restaurant Coalition!"
Much of the menu will be the same including New York-style pizza and its Italian Classics like Parmigiana available in four versions: eggplant, chicken, meatball or sausage. Other Italian dishes include fresh pasta such as the 20 Layer Lasagna, Basil Pesto and Clam Sauce. There are calzones, heroes, subs and salads, too. To order, go to berghospitality.olo.com.
There's an expansive outdoor patio which wraps around the building offering plenty of space for social distancing plus more intimate space for wine-sipping with your favorite pod pal. Roots has a private dining room available for special events.
Besides wine on tap and by the bottle, there's a variety of craft beer, cider, mead and non-alcoholic wine.
Citadel also has full-service catering for breakfast, lunch and dinner including pre-boxed meals and a baked potato bar.
The music part of its name comes from entertainment which can vary from house music to jazz or R&B, usually by a saxophonist or a DJ. The venue is always looking for new, local talent as well.
The Burger Ranch, 16702 House and Hahl, opened February 6. The family-owned burger joint is kid-friendly with plenty of outdoor space for rugrats to play while parents sip a cold beer and enjoy one of its juicy burgers. The Ranch Hand is a classic burger on a brioche bun with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles. The King Ranch is a half-pound beef patty topped with bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and an onion ring served on a jalapeno-cheese bun. The McCoy is served with Swiss cheese, sauteed mushrooms and onions in teriyaki sauce. In addition to burgers, there are chicken sandwiches, wings and a couple of salad options. There's also the Little Wranglers menu for kids with choices such as corn dog, chicken strips, sliders and grilled cheese. there are plenty of local and national brews on tap and in cans.
The fast casual build-your-own burrito concept also offers salads, bowls, tacos and sides. Protein options include carnitas, steak, barbacoa and chicken plus its plant-based sofritas. Guests can add beans and rice, including its new Cilantro-Lime Cauliflower Rice. Guac, however, is gonna cost you a couple of extra bucks.
The menu at Wolfie's ranges from standard sports bar favorites like fried appetizers, wings and burgers to more restaurant fare like seafood entrees, chicken fried steak and dinner salads. There are plenty of belt-busting dishes such as The West Texas Redneck Burger, a double-meat monster topped with French fries and queso, surrounded by fried pickles and jalapenos or " The Really Big Wedgie" for wedge salad fans.
Smoothie King, 2710 W. Lake Houston Parkway, opened February 15 in Kingwood. The Dallas-based franchise chain known for its purposely blended fruit and vegetable smoothies, has expanded to over 1000 units nationwide since its founding in 1973.
The new drive-thru Kingwood store is owned by Warren and Linda Alberty, two professionals who opened their first Smoothie King in New Caney in March 2020.
Paul Miller, owner of Gr8Plate Hospitality said, "David Oglesby was a valued employee and more than that, a great friend to the staff and managers. I never once saw him without a smile on his face. He will be missed."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to provide for expenses for his wife Denise and their daughters: gofundme.com/support-for-david-oglesby-family