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James Beard Winner Chris Shepherd Will Open Five Restaurant Concepts In The Same Space

Not at the same time, of course

Mark's American Cuisine
This iconic dining room is about to have an exciting new tenant.
Mark’s American Cuisine/Facebook
Amy McCarthy is a staff writer at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

Leave it to Chef Chris Shepherd to somehow make the process of opening a brand new restaurant concept more complicated. After tackling the culinary history of Houston, Shepherd is planning a new — and decidedly impressive — next move.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Shepherd will open a concept called One Fifth in the former Mark’s American Cuisine space next year. The concept is more a “project” than a restaurant — for the next five years, Shepherd will introduce a new restaurant concept in the space for one year only. After 12 months, each concept will be retired and replaced with an entirely new restaurant.

The first concept will be, as Shepherd describes it, a “meat house,” with everything from “steak seared in butter in cast iron along with garlic cloves and thyme” and wine braised goat with olives and shallots. As you might have noticed, Shepherd won’t just be focusing on locally-sourced fare for these forthcoming concepts.

After the “meat house” runs its 12-month course, Shepherd will open Romance Languages, a concept that will focus on French, Spanish, and Italian cuisine. Then, One Fifth Fish, a seafood-focused restaurant, will take over the space. Each concept will feature a few common threads, like a cold bar and roving dining cart.

Shepherd has some hard-hitting investors behind the project, too. Houston Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus is a partner in One Fifth, as is The Hay Merchant’s Kevin Floyd.

One Fifth is set to make its debut in January with One Fifth Steak. Stay tuned for a concrete opening date.

Underbelly chef Chris Shepherd unveils plans for daring new Montrose restaurant [Houston Chronicle]