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Rising Star Chef Turns Tide to Midtown as Preview Shutters in Sugar Land

Filling a high-end dining void lacking in the suburbs, the young chef brings his talents into Houston.

Jason Liao/Twitter

Sorry, Sugar Land: Preview Modern Seafood Cuisine is closed for good. Proprietor and executive chef Jason Liao announced the news on Facebook this morning, where he thanked patrons for their support and revealed a new restaurant on the horizon in Midtown:

Preview's closure comes as a bit of a surprise. Since opening last May, the Houston native's restaurant has garnered praise from various local publications, including landing on Eater's heatmap three consecutive times. Perhaps his globally inspired menu was too ambitious for Sugar Land or maybe he's had his sights on something bigger all along.

A few weeks ago, Liao revealed plans for Tides Modern Seafood Cuisine on social media. At the time, Liao wouldn't disclose whether it would be a follow-up to Preview, but through his closing announcement today, it's confirmed that Tides is the young chef's forthcoming restaurant opening later this year in Houston.

Tides Modern Seafood Cuisine will be located in Midtown. As to where the restaurant will open in Midtown, Liao wasn't ready to share that part of the news just yet. "I can't disclose where yet until a lease [is] signed in April since an existing restaurant is involved," the chef shares, which opens the door to lots of speculations. Could Tides set down roots across from Oporto Fooding House & Wine on Gray, the property that houses Hefley's and is on the market? Or will Tides' new home be located further inside Midtown?

The location may be under wraps for now but Liao offers a peek into what's in store for Tides. "[We'll] cater a little more to the young professional crowd," says Liao whose bigger digs will allow for a full bar. Tides' concept will be the same as Preview's, which draws some of its inspiration from Oxheart and Underbelly. Edwin Hui of Aka Sushi and Tiger Den has been brought on as a consultant, assisting with the restaurant's bar program.

Liao's Tides Modern Seafood Cuisine is ambitious, but will it be enough for longevity in Midtown, especially against Uchi's contemporary pan-Asian menu and soon-to-open Izakaya? Time will tell but Preview's growing legion of fans and new ones along the way could support Tides for the long haul — however long that is in trendy restaurant years.

Preview - Modern Seafood Cuisine

4645 Highway 6 Unit C, Sugar Land, TX 77478 (832) 886-4451 Visit Website