So many new restaurants these days project an opening date and then push it back, sometimes for a month, often longer. When James Haywood and Ross Coleman found the space for their restaurant on Canal and North Hagerman in Second Ward, they got things moving quickly. Coleman returned to Houston from Dallas, where he had been working as a banquet chef at the Hotel ZaZa Dallas, and within two weeks, he and Haywood -- friends for six years since they'd met while working together at Minute Maid Park -- made some cosmetic changes, ordered a sign, collaborated on a menu and opened their doors to the public.
As you drive down Canal Street on a drizzly Wednesday night, the neighborhood feels sleepy until you reach the corner where Kitchen 713 is housed. The restaurant is lit from the outside, and the parking lot is full. Though the area doesn't see a lot of walk-by traffic, the menu is posted prominently on the exterior of the restaurant, kind of like a poster, so that even before you walk in, you get a sense of the kind of food you'll get. The tagline is "Flavors of the South, Globally Inspired."