Chef-proprietor Ford Fry's forthcoming Houston restaurant will be called State of Grace. According to Atlanta Magazine, the name "was inspired by an image of a deer standing in a field with morning dew and tree branches," reminiscent of the Houston native's hunting trips growing up in Texas.
Located within the Lamar-River Oaks Shopping Center — which sits across the street from Fry's alma mater, Lamar High School — the soon-to-open upscale restaurant will transform former 3256 Westheimer suites once occupied by Crescent City Beignets, Subway and a neighboring dry-cleaning shop into one space. The esteemed chef will "offer regional fare from Texas and the Gulf Coast," with an "emphasis on seafood, as well as meat and pork," notes Atlanta Magazine. A spokesperson tells Houston Chronicle the menu will also have a heavy emphasis on the Gulf Coast while highlighting the Hill Country.
Fry has had his sights on Houston for some time. In a 2012 interview with Eater, the chef revealed he'd begun the search for locations in his hometown. Houston may not take too kindly to celebrity chefs, but there's a small exception when it comes to those born and raised in the city. Maybe Fry will be one of those exceptions when State of Grace opens in the summer of 2015.
Fry met with Blacksmith co-owner David Buehrer this fall, which hopefully is a sign of good things to come should the chef decide to add a coffee program at his Houston venture. Still, with several well-established restaurants in Atlanta and another in the works in Georgia, can Fry devote as much time and hands-on care to his forthcoming Houston restaurant as he does with the ones in Atlanta? Anxious fans in the Bayou City hope so.