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The Federal Grill Replacing Branch Water Tavern

The name of the restaurant that will replace Branch Water Tavern on Shepherd is The Federal Grill. In a conversation today, owner Matt Brice, who also owns Bistro des Amis in Rice Village, explains that he considers the restaurant to be in a "prime location" and that he always liked the restaurant's use of brick and wood, which is why he bought it from chef David Grossman and his investors last month.

While the exact date of the switchover is pending items such as permits and a new sign, Brice is already instituting changes. They include lowering the price point at lunch with new items such as a reuben and a croque monsieur. Changes to the bar include a new bar menu, high tables in place of the lounge area and three TVs; the restaurant's extensive bourbon collection will remain. The Federal Grill will seek to become a brunch destination by serving on both Saturday and Sunday.

In addition to the changes at the bar, Brice hopes to lighten the space with linens on the tables and new staff uniforms that break away from the all black motif. Service will be friendly not "prim and proper." He says the phrase is "Classic food. Genuine service."

Below is the full press release.

Three years after opening the award-winning Branch Water Tavern, Chef/Owner David Grossman has sold one of Houston's top restaurants, along with its menu and recipes, to restaurateur Matt Brice, owner of Bistro des Amis in Rice Village. To ensure a smooth transition, Grossman will remain on board through Spring 2013, when the restaurant, located at 510 Shepherd, officially re-launches as The Federal Grill.

Explaining the new venture Brice says, "We fell in love with the food, layout, design, and location. We knew we could make great things happen in this venue." Brice, whose extensive experience lies heavily in fine dining and steakhouses, plans to expand the restaurant's core menus as well as raise the bar on genuine old-school service. "I want our guests to feel at home and well cared for, whether grabbing a quick lunch or an evening celebrating with friends and family. For me, the answer will always be 'yes' ? now what is the question?"

In addition to the restaurant's popular Bone Marrow, Roasted Beet Salad, and Smoked Pork Chop, diners are already enjoying new menu additions, including a Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Prime Filet Mignon and Truffle Mac & Cheese. Specials will change regularly. The restaurant will continue to feature local organic meat and produce, locally-sourced fish and seafood, and an extensive cured meat and charcuterie program.

The greatest change in menus will be at lunch. "Setting a time and price point that will appeal to both those meeting for business and pleasure is first and foremost," says Brice.

The Federal Grill's lunch menu will allow diners with limited time the ability to get in and out within 30 minutes. Daily $10 lunch specials, such as "Fried Chicken Thursdays" will continue, with more menu items at the $12 to $15 price point being offered.

There will be significant changes in the bar, including new happy hour and bar menus, more tables and TVs. "Currently our bar area is underutilized during the day, yet it's the perfect place to grab a quick bite for lunch and get caught up with the latest news or sports," says Brice.

The Federal Grill will continue to offer an impressive array of artisan beer, boutique wines, American whiskeys and bourbons, and other spirits highlighting the restaurant's menu. Bourbon flight offerings will expand and there will be a greater focus on wines as well, with an equal mix of small vineyard wines and popular mainstream wines. The restaurant will also offer an extensive list of wines by the glass.

Brunch lovers will also be pleased to learn that they will be able to enjoy the restaurant's Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp & Grits, Braised Veal Benedict, Truffle Egg Sandwich and Chicken Pot Pie on Saturdays as well as Sundays when new hours go into effect.

Beginning in March, the restaurant will open seven days a week, serving lunch and dinner on weekdays and brunch and dinner on weekends. The restaurant's kitchen will open from 11 am to 9 pm on Sunday, 11 am to 10 pm Monday thru Thursday, and 11 am to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. The bar will remain open one hour after the kitchen closes each night.

For more information visit or follow on Facebook at or Twitter at For reservations or party inquiries, call 713.863.7777 or email

· The Federal Grill [Official Site]
· David Grossman Sells Branch Water Tavern Space [-EHOU-]
· All Coming Attractions on Eater Houston [-EHOU-]

The Federal Grill

510 Shepherd Drive, Houston, TX 77007