Last fall, Eater reported that Houston hospitality power duo Justin Yu and Bobby Heugel had plans to take over the Heights restaurant formerly known as Southern Goods. Now, we’ve got more details on what that new spot’s going to look like.
The restaurant that will soon occupy the space at 632 West 19th Street is called Squable, as previously indicated by a website and Facebook page established for the restaurant. According to a press release, Mark Clayton and Drew Gimma will take over the kitchen, and they’ve both got serious culinary chops. Clayton comes to Squable via restaurants like Stella in New Orleans and a three-year tenure as sous chef at Yu’s much-beloved Oxheart. As for Gimma, he’s served as head baker at Common Bond, along with time in the kitchen at Thomas Keller’s Per Se.
As far as the food is concerned, diners can look forward to a menu of “European fare with American influences,” all made with local ingredients. Expect dishes like pork neck schnitzel, fresh pasta served in butter-braised onions and sheep’s milk cheese, and smoked grouper. Gimma will oversee the restaurant’s bread and pastry offerings, which will include a Dutch baby pancake served with fresh cheese and caramelized pain de mie.
The duo will also task former Better Luck Tomorrow bar manager (and future Squable general manager) Terry Williams and sommelier Justin Vann to develop an extensive list of natural wines and a cocktail menu that will offer martinis and refreshing patio libations. A “bar window” will serve drinks and chilled oysters and shellfish to patrons who have not yet been seated.
All the cocktails and dishes planned for this restaurant sound great, but the name Squable is a little bit bizarre. Heugel tells Eater that the restaurant’s name is pronounced like “squabble,” but there’s no doubt that plenty of people will pronounce this new restaurant’s name like it rhymes with “table.” It’s an odd moniker, even considering the creatively-named spots in Heugel and Yu’s respective portfolios, like The Pastry War and Theodore Rex.
Squable will be Yu and Heugel’s second establishment in the Heights, joining much-beloved bar and eatery Better Luck Tomorrow, a 2017 Eater Award winner. It’s going to be a particularly busy year for Heugel, who also has plans to revamp the now-shuttered Etro nightclub that’s next door to his Montrose spot Anvil Bar & Refuge.
No official opening date for Squable has been set just yet, but look for it to arrive this spring. Stay tuned for more details.