Chef Bryan Caswell’s Reef is getting ready to make its comeback after Hurricane Harvey left the eatery’s dining room soaking wet.
Co-owner Jennifer Caswell tells Eater that construction is officially underway on the Midtown restaurant, which sustained significant water damage during the September storm due to a roof leak. “[Reef] never lost electricity, but the damage is kind of crazy,” Caswell told Eater in the days after Harvey. “I came in when the rain would let up a little bit and saw the puddles in the floor, the chunks of the ceiling everywhere. The bar looks like it has a disease because the water caused the finish to bubble up.”
Now that the project is underway, Caswell says that Reef will soon sport an entirely new look, and that’s not all. “Reef will be completely overhauled,” she says. “From appearance to menu to wine to hours of operation to bar programs, it is truly going to be a renovated concept.”
Fortunately, the restaurant’s kitchen was spared from the torrential downpour, which should make the renovation go along much more smoothly. Post-Harvey, the Caswells and dozens of service industry volunteers used Reef’s kitchen to serve thousands of meals to first responders and hurricane victims in the days and weeks following the storm. Now, they’re getting back to the business of running their flagship restaurant.
Caswell expects that Reef will make its return to Houston in mid-to-late November, and of course, there’s going to be a big grand opening party.