After announcing earlier this year they were bringing a hot new eatery to EaDo, locals Sean Jensen and chef Jason Vaughan promise the doors to Nancy’s Hustle will be open by the end of the month, Chron.com reports.
The eatery at 2704 Polk (on the corner of Nagle) will feature a wine and cider bar with a neighborhood feel. And the restaurant’s unique moniker takes inspiration from the fictional Nancy’s Diner in Mad Max and Houston’s own reputation as “Hustle Town.”
Vaughan formerly worked as chef at Chicago’s, and Jensen served as GM for Hay Merchant and Public Services. Both most recently consulted in the kitchen and front of house for the opening of Alice Blue in the Heights.
The open-format space will be anchored by a large kitchen with wood-burning grill, and it features historic elements from floor-to-ceiling including a reel-to-reel tape machine that will power a stereo system with vintage speakers. The partners sourced the wood for their bartops and tabletops from the historic Palace Lanes bowling alley that closed down last year.
“We, as a city, don’t hold onto our nostalgia and the history of the city enough,” Jensen told Eater. “The bowling alley lanes kind of found us. They were installed in 1954 and 1955. If you’ve grown up in Houston, you’ve probably bowled on those lanes.”
As far as the menu is concerned, Nancy’s Hustle will be baking bread and making all pasta in-house. Highlights include Chef Vaughan’s sourdough fettuccini with burrata cheese, honeyed pistachios, and crispy brussels sprout leaves; braised rabbit with Arborio rice, morcilla, and artichokes; and confit potatoes with broiled raclette, pickles, and onions in a classic French preparation.
Nancy’s Hustle bar program will focus on wine and cider that is “naturally produced and organically grown with minimal intervention, which allows the natural yeast to do their thing,” Jensen says. Kristine Nguyen from Bad News Bar is developing a cocktail menu of the classics.
The menu will include a sharable tiki-inspired banana daiquiri for adults only, or a parmesan cheesecake developed by pastry and sous chef Julia Doran, formerly of Bernadine's.
Nancy's Hustle is aiming for an opening date of November 28, but promises to be open before the month is over.
The restaurant will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Happy hour is from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and a late night menu is offered at 10 p.m. nightly.