It’s been a big year for Chef Justin Yu. After winning the James Beard Award for Best Chef - Southwest in 2016, Yu decided to close his much-beloved restaurant Oxheart. He’s also been working on a “neighborhood concept” with Anvil Bar & Refuge’s Bobby Heugel, and today finally brings more details on that project.
Announced via release, Yu and Heugel’s “neighborhood concept” will actually be a “neighborhood bar with food that meets restaurant standards” called Better Luck Tomorrow. The bar will open its doors at 544 Yale in the coming weeks, and will allow both Heugel and Yu to really explore their culinary (and cocktail) creativity.
The bar program will serve up a menu of 10 cocktails made with “hyper-seasonal” ingredients found in Houston and around the Gulf Coast. Heugel’s cocktails at Better Luck Tomorrow will also feature intricate garnishes, like house-pickled onions atop a Gibson. An “aggressive” wine list curated by sommelier Justin Vann will serve up interesting wines by the glass and bottle, along with a weekly uncorking of a rare wine that Better Luck Tomorrow will sell at cost.
As far as the food is concerned, Yu will provide creative direction, but the day-to-day work will be done by Chef Matt Boesen. A graduate of LeNotre Institute and Houston native, Boesen has worked under Yu before at Oxheart, along with a stint as sous chef at Hunky Dory Tavern. All food, like a refined patty melt and a few “fried, snacky items,” will be ordered at the bar, and served until midnight.
Better Luck Tomorrow is expected to open its doors in late April, at which time Houstonians will be able to enjoy Justin Yu’s food once again.