March 31 will be the last day for Underbelly as Houston knows it. The much-beloved restaurant from acclaimed Chef Chris Shepherd will morph into a new eatery in the former Poscol space, while Underbelly’s current spot will make way for Shepherd’s forthcoming steakhouse Georgia James.
The new restaurant opening in mid-April at 1609 Westheimer will bear the moniker UB Preserv. It’ll be a lot like Underbelly, but with less strict guidelines as far as sourcing local ingredients and whole animals, and its menu won’t change daily. Underbelly’s current location will reopen this summer as Georgia James (named for Shepherd’s parents) as a steakhouse inspired by One Fifth Steak launched in the spring of 2017.
A UB Preserv pop-up last weekend gave diners a sneak peek of some of Shepherd’s upcoming dishes including char siu octopus with chili sesame puree, a dim sum-style scallion pancake filled with pork, and Sichuan-style pork dumplings, CultureMap reports. Will they become the best dumplings in Houston? Time will tell.
The less-strict UB Preserv will “preserve the ethos of Underbelly... [yet] isn’t Underbelly 2.0,” Shepherd previously said in a statement. UB Preserv will focus on Shepherd’s interpretation of Houston’s evolving dining scene with more global influences in a smaller 80-seat footprint. The place will only be open for dinner and won’t take reservations.
For diners who are mourning the disappearance of their favorite Underbelly dishes - Korean braised goat and dumplings, Cha Cha, and the crispy vegetables in caramelized fish sauce will be offered at Shepherd’s Hay Merchant restaurant.
Underbelly is throwing a final hurrah on April 1 to celebrate its six years in business. Tickets can be purchased here beginning Monday.
We've spent six years "reppin' Houston with love," and we're not stopping any time soon. We opened Underbelly to thank our city for being such an inspiration to us and to show the world how badass Houston is. Thank you to the farmers, the ranchers and the fisherman for providing us with such incredible product. Thank you to our city and all the cultures that exist within it for always inspiring us. Thank you to our staff for believing in our vision and helping us execute it every day. Our last day of service will be March 31, and we’re throwing a party on April 1. Details in our bio.