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Is Restaurateur Ford Fry Plotting A Restaurant in the Heights? [UPDATED]

The chef might be taking over Bernadine’s and Hunky Dory

State of Grace / Jay Tovar
State of Grace / Jay Tovar

In what could be his first expansion in Houston, it looks as if Chef Ford Fry is looking to take over the building that formerly housed Bernadine’s and Hunky Dory.

Houston real estate broker Allen Jimenez posted the unconfirmed news that Fry could be looking to open another outpost of State of Grace or another concept in the space at 18th & Shepherd. According to Jimenez, Fry’s restaurant group will give the building a major revamp. Whether or not he will bring two restaurants to the adjoined spaces or bring them together to create one massive spot remains to be seen.

At present, Fry operates a number of restaurant concepts in Atlanta and Houston. Perhaps he’ll bring Mexican-inspired spot Superica to the Heights, or maybe his French restaurant Marcel will join the city’s restaurant scene. Open-fire focused eatery King + Duke would also be a solid option.

It makes sense that Fry would look to expand into the Heights, which is currently Houston’s buzziest dining district. Concepts from restaurateur Lee Ellis, bar empresario Bobby Heugel and James Beard Award-winning chef Justin Yu (among others) have opened in the neighborhood in recent months, making the Heights a perfect fit for a budding empire like Ford Fry Restaurants.

Eater has reached out to the restaurant group for more information on Fry’s expansion in Houston. Stay tuned for more details.

UPDATE 10:26 a.m. — A representative for Fry in Houston tells Eater that the owner of the former Bernadine’s and Hunky Dory spaces has reached out to a number of local restaurateurs to “gauge interest” on the property, but no deals have been signed at present.

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