In the coming weeks, restaurateur Mike Tran will grow his empire yet again with the addition of Blkdog Coffee, Asiatown’s most charming new coffee destination.
The new eatery at 9630 Clarewood is just about ready, and Tran expects for it to open within the next couple of weeks. Inside, the space is outfitted in shabby chic decor, including mismatched chairs, hanging plants, and a glittering crystal chandelier that was taken from Tran’s home after it was flooded during Hurricane Harvey, making it feel like a cozy hidden gem.
It’s almost as if Tran had Instagram in mind when he was designing it. Bookcases are stacked with hard-bound literary classics selections of Japanese books, an informal lending library. White frosted pendant lights, hung in an array above individual marble-topped cafe tables, are antique finds from Austria and France. Coffee will be served in yellow, gray, and aqua-colored stoneware cups with matching saucers.
Tran tells Eater that he modeled the space after the numerous coffee shops he encountered during his travels to Asia. “This coffee shop is more like Japanese-Korean style,” says Tran. “It’s a very mom-and-pop coffee shop. And what they do over there, most of the coffee shops serve coffee, but they also serve food.”
Blkdog Coffee’s opening menu includes a selection of what he calls thin-crust, Brooklyn style pizza, made with 00 flour and Asian flavors. “One of the pizzas, we took from the dan dan mein, and we break it down. It will have egg, minced pork, and cheese,” he says. There’s also a basic cheese flatbread with mascarpone, and the kinoko, topped with roasted mushrooms, truffle pesto, and yuzu vinaigrette.
For the shop’s coffee, Tran selected La Colombe, the award-winning coffee from Travel Channel host Todd Carmichael. Blkdog will be the first coffee shop in Texas, and the only in Houston, to partner with La Colombe, genrally found on the East Coast. Espresso will be pulled from a state of the art, La Marzocco Italian espresso machine, with lattes and cappuccino featuring Instagram-worthy latte art.
No official opening date for Blkdog Coffee is set in stone just yet, but stay tuned for an update. When it does debut, Tran says that Blkdog Coffee will be open from 10 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. on the weekdays, later on weekends.