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It Sure Looks Like Chef Ford Fry Will Open a Fourth Houston Restaurant

Permits have been filed for an outpost of Fry’s seafood restaurant The Optimist

The dining room of the Optimist in Atlanta
The Optimist in Atlanta
Andrew Thomas Lee
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

Last year, Eater reported that Houston-born, Atlanta-based chef Ford Fry had a new Space City restaurant in the works. Now, we’ve got new details on exactly what that new seafood-obsessed spot will look like.

Construction permits filed for the space at 1818 Washington Avenue indicate that Fry will bring the Optimist, his “seaside fish camp” restaurant to the address. A sales tax permit filed with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts also confirms that location. The Houston outpost is an offshoot of the original Optimist in Atlanta, which Fry opened in 2012 to rave reviews, including a “best new restaurant” nod from Esquire that same year. When the Optimist makes its way to Houston, it will join State of Grace, Fry’s Tex-Mex spot Superica and the much-lauded La Lucha.

As the “fish camp” theme might indicate, the Optimist’s menu is thoroughly seafood-obsessed. The Atlanta outpost serves seafood platters and fresh crudos alongside heartier preparations like smoked fish chowder, wood-roasted halibut, and swordfish poached in duck fat.

Eater has reached out to a representative for Fry to confirm the new location and when it will open. Stay tuned for an update.