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Popular Bar Owner Set to Open a Midtown Restaurant

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Cook & Collins [Darla Guillen]

As temps begin to drop, a man with serious bar pedigree is ready to infiltrate Midtown's drink-centric neighborhood with upscale bites on two patios. Although we originally thought that the new establishment at Xuco Xicana's former building would be called Bremond Street Grill, it turns out that the name of this upcoming spot is actually Cook & Collins and it will be a restaurant, not a bar.

The owner of this forthcoming eatery is Pub Fiction's Michael Paolucci, who is opening this restaurant through newly launched hospitality group IronCress. He emphasizes that despite his bar background, he wants to make this place a solid restaurant that just happens to have good drinks. He plans to have relatively early closing hours — around 11 p.m. during the week — to avert the chaos from late-night drinking crowds at surrounding bars. He says he wants to establish something along the lines of "Ibiza, Backstreet or Brasserie 19" in that area. "I know Midtown very well," Paolucci says. "There are too many bars and not enough restaurants."

"Until the restaurants start coming, it won't become a world-class neighborhood." Paolucci says. "I'm from Chicago and in Chicago, for every bar there's a restaurant; in [Houston's] Midtown, for every 20 bars there's one restaurant."

Paolucci has brought in CRISP'S chef Jared Estes and Alan Hartigan — who will be the executive chef here — to implement a classic American menu with a unique twist on each item. The whole back wall of the second floor terrace will be lined with oversized booths to allow for comfortable seating, and the space in front of it will be filled with different seating configurations for those who want to enjoy the view while having dinner. Paolucci hopes to host his first dinner service at this restaurant on December 9, permits and construction allowing.
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Cook & Collins

2416 Brazos St Ste C, Houston, TX 77006 (832) 701-1973 Visit Website

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