Earlier this month, the newly-revamped Evelyn’s Park Conservancy in Bellaire became home to The Ivy & James, a brand new eatery from Jamie and Dalia Zelko.
The minds behind beloved (and now-shuttered) Heights spot Zelko Bistro have taken over “the house” at Evelyn’s Park, a structure inspired by the original home built on the property. Originally, the plan was to use reclaimed materials in the new building, but nothing was salvageable.
Instead, the Zelkos swapped that plan for a bright and roomy new building with a cheery yellow exterior and homey vibe. Indoors, the cozy dining room offers table and banquette seating for 70, but the primary dining space is focused outdoors, where a number of picnic tables are situated beneath large trees and a covered pavilion. There, diners can take picnic baskets from the restaurant to enjoy in the great outdoors.
The “breakfast-til-dusk” menu serves up a variety of sandwiches, burgers, and flatbreads made with as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible. Also on offer are grab-and-go snacks, like hummus, salads, charcuterie plates, and popsicles from Good Pop. A tightly-curated selection of wine and craft brews are available, alongside caffeinated options from Mueva Coffee.
The Ivy & James is still in its first weeks of soft-opening, with plans to add prix-fixe dinner service in the coming months. In the meantime, step inside the bright and breezy new eatery courtesy of Eater photographer Ellie Sharp.