In the Heights space formerly known as Star Fish, restaurateur Michael Sambrooks is ready to debut 1751 Sea and Bar, a brand new seafood-focused restaurant.
The restaurant at 191 Heights Boulevard is set to open its doors early next week, about a month after Sambrooks shuttered Star Fish in order to revamp the space. The restaurant still looks pretty familiar to anyone who’s ever dined at Star Fish, with the exception of a brand new bar, a large community table, and lounge space. The color palette is also slightly different, with more black to match the restaurant’s booths and brass fixtures.
As far as the menu is concerned, that the primary protein is seafood is really the only similarity to Star Fish. Working alongside culinary director Lyle Bento, 1751 Sea and Bar has tapped executive chef J.D. Woodward to lead the kitchen, and he’s overseeing a wide-ranging menu that will offer everything from gumbo and shrimp etouffee to tom yum hot pots and chicken karaage. Seafood towers, fresh oysters, poke, and caviar service will also be on the menu.
The bar is, according to a press release, angling to become Houston’s go-to establishment for gin enthusiasts. The “1751” in the restaurant’s name is a reference to the Gin Act of 1751, which levied taxes on gin to discourage drinking, and the bar will stock 100 different varieties of the botanically-infused spirit. On the cocktail menu, a selection of gin and tonics, mules, and tiki cocktails will be on offer, along with icy-cold martinis.
The revamp will hopefully bring better karma for Star Fish, which was one of the restaurants formerly owned by now-dissolved restaurant group Cherry Pie Hospitality. Opened in 2017, Star Fish was one of the year’s biggest debuts, but its success didn’t last long. About a year later, the restaurant was temporarily locked out of its space for unpaid rent, and Cherry Pie sold off Star Fish and two of its other restaurants to Sambrooks in a fire sale. Currently, Cherry Pie Hospitality is facing at least three different lawsuits, which allege that the company stiffed investors after the sale and failed to pay some of its bills.
1751 Sea and Bar opens for dinner service on April 2. The restaurant will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m., Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.