Royal Oaks/Boondocks owner Shawn Bermudez gave Eater a tour of his two latest projects yesterday. Set to open next month in the formerly occupied by Nabi, Pistolero's is a tacos and tequila concept that aims to bridge the gap in price and atmosphere between El Gran Malo and Cyclone Anaya's. Coming in June, Stone's Throw is a bar in the former Liquid space adjacent to Boondocks that will serve Texas craft beer and American spirits. Bermudez provided details on both spaces, which he is completely transforming.
The transformation at Pistolero's begins in the dining room, where Bermudez has added new brickwork and reclaimed wood to provide a rustic feel. He also removed the office/closet that was adjacent to the entryway, which opened up the dining room and allowed the installation of a large booth along the wall. The wall adjacent to the entrance and the eastern wall will also be lined with booths that Bermudez plans to upholster in black. Although the bar's position remains, the structure has been completely rebuilt and will be topped with copper-colored mosaic tile. That will reinforce the dramatic, copper-covered entryway that now fronts the restaurant.
In terms of the food and drinks, Bermudez and chef Brandon Schillings have developed a menu of tacos and shared appetizers that also includes four larger, entree style plates. Schillings said he has 80-90% of the menu complete; it includes a house-smoked sausage served in the style of a Sonoran hot dog, 12 tacos and even a few salads. That flexibility will help broaden Pistolero's appeal, since it will be open everyday from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. and serve food until 1:00 a.m. Brunch is also a possibility.
Although the pair resisted attempts to get them to compare it to other Houston restaurants. Schilling said "we're a restaurant with a great bar atmosphere." Bermudez added "Whether they come for the food or drinks, once they're in here they'll stay for both." That atmosphere will be further enhanced by eight TVs, six in the dining room and one on either side of the bar, that will make Pistolero's a soccer watching hotspot for the next World Cup and other similar events.
As for Stone's Throw, due to permitting delays, Bermudez only began work on the space this week. The biggest change will be to the exterior where the current windows will be double-stacked to allow passers-by to see inside the entire bar. Bermudez said he's "excited to see it cleaned up." The outside will also get a new patio with an eight-foot wall to provide privacy and separate it visually from Boondocks. Inside, there will be a floor-to-ceiling bar on the wall adjacent to Boondocks and a completely new second story with three Juliet-balconies that will overlook the first floor.
Mark them both as two more spaces set to absorb Houstonian's seemingly limitless capacity for food and drinks that will further enhance Montrose's status as Houston premier dining neighborhood.
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