James Beard Award-Winning Chef Plans New Restaurant Concept in Houston

Houston — Acclaimed Houston-based Underbelly Hospitality is growing its hometown footprint moments from where the city was first born and just steps from Buffalo Bayou Park. The restaurant group, led by James Beard Award-Winning Chef/Owner Chris Shepherd, has signed a lease for a 5,000-square-foot standalone space with rooftop terrace at Regent Square, an urban infill development reimagining the Allen Parkway corridor.

Focusing on live fire cooking, the global concept will serve as an anchor for GID Development Group’s much-anticipated Regent Square Phase 2 addition. Scheduled to debut in late 2021, the 8-acre project will incorporate 50,000 square feet of pedestrian-oriented retail plus a 600-unit multifamily building.

Shepherd has spent much of the past year cooking with live fire on various smokers and grills in his backyard and is interested in the flavors and nuances of different kinds of wood. He wants to open this restaurant not only to explore both the cuisines around the world centered on live fire cooking, but also using wood — post oak, hickory, pecan and mesquite — as a key flavor component in the dishes.

Chris Shepherd. Photo credit: John Davidson

“We’re still working through a lot of the details,” says Shepherd, pictured at left, “but the idea of live fire cooking using multiple types of wood really excites me. Regent Square is an ideal location for this restaurant and for Underbelly Hospitality.”

Designed by Boston-based architectural placemaking firm CBT in conjunction with Houston’s OJB Landscape Architecture, Regent Square’s Phase 2 sets a unique backdrop for its three free-standing restaurant spaces, which will overlook two activated green areas, a signature water feature and a pedestrian promenade.

Underbelly Hospitality is a Houston-based restaurant group run Shepherd. The five concepts — Georgia James, UB Preserv, One Fifth, Hay Merchant and Blacksmith — are based on a foundation of education and the curiosity to explore and learn from anyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, age or gender. Underbelly Hospitality will open Georgia James Tavern and Wild Oats in 2021. For more information, visit www.underbellyhospitality.com.

GID Development Group is a privately held and fully Integrated real estate company founded in 1960 that develops, owns and operates a premier portfolio of properties across multiple asset classes. Areas of in-house expertise include development, acquisitions, property management, portfolio management, asset management, research and strategy, finance and treasury.



SOURCE: GID Development Group

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