Welcome to AM Intel in the time of coronavirus, a round-up of the city’s newest bits of restaurant-related intel. Follow Eater on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date details on how COVID-19 is impacting the city’s dining scene.
Former FM Kitchen chef joins new project at revamped bowling alley
Chef Ryan Hildebrand, who formerly ran Triniti and FM Kitchen and Bar, has a new project in the works. Hildebrand is developing the menu for a new entertainment complex called Palace Social, set to open in Spring 2021 in the former Palace Lanes bowling alley at 4191 Bellaire Boulevard. The 30,000 square-foot complex will include an eight-lane bowling alley, an arcade, event spaces, karaoke rooms, an e-sports lounge, and a full-service bar and a restaurant that will serve brunch, lunch and dinner. “The menu will include modern takes on Southern regional classics with a nostalgic nod to the diner-style history of Palace Bowling Lanes,” Hildebrand said in a press release. As CultureMap reported, Hildebrand left FM Kitchen suddenly in November 2019, saying his relationship with the restaurant, which he founded in 2017, had become “untenable.”
Tillman Fertitta has a new restaurant in the works
Rockets owner and Houston mega-restaurateur Tillman Fertitta has a new restaurant in the works called King Ranch Texas Kitchen, according to CultureMap. As the name implies, the restaurant will serve iconic Texas dishes out of the former Galleria-area Willie G’s location at 1605 Post Oak Boulevard. (The King Ranch, which was founded in 1852, is the largest ranch in the state of Texas.) Chef Carlos Rodriguez of Vic & Anthony’s, will lead the project, which is expected to open before the end of the year.
It’s been a dramatic year for Fertitta. In April, he took out what essentially amounted to a $300 million payday loan to support his 600-plus restaurants and casinos at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. He later told President Donald Trump that he sent back his Payroll Protection Loan because he didn’t want to face public ridicule after laying off 40,000 employees. His business, Landry’s, got an additional infusion in June when he secured a partnership to feed all 30 National Basketball Association teams in the NBA bubble in Florida.
Iconic restaurant Treebeards opens new location in Memorial
Treebeards, the longtime Downtown restaurant serving Southern classics like jambalaya, étouffée and buttercake, has a new home. The restaurant’s newest outpost, at 9655 Katy Freeway, is now open, and begins dinner service this evening, October 15, Houston Food Finder reports. The move is bittersweet. In May, the flagship Treebeards at 315 Travis Street, which had been open for 40 years, was forced to close due to rent hikes. Several other smaller locations, including two in the downtown tunnels and one at Reliant Stadium, are still in operation.