A plucky little bao restaurant with a big vision for the community has landed in Northwest Houston.
Bao Bros. Bistro, which serves up Asian fusion with a focus on bao, boba and beer, opened October 24 at 8574 Highway 6 in Copperfield. The restaurant is the work of a Copperfield native named Chris Garcia, who fell in love with the fluffy white steamed buns after living in Hong Kong. Garcia teamed up with chef Sopha Long, who has more than 35 years experience working in kitchen like Carrabba’s and Steak 48, to deliver dishes like a panko-crusted buffalo chicken bao topped with jalapeño ranch, a vegan barbecued jackfruit-filled bao called the Jackie Chan, and a bun filled with smoked brisket, Asian slaw and pickled onions. Other dishes include miso soup, sriracha loaded fries, and a ponzo-glazed salmon salad with pickled cucumbers and edamame.
Garcia knows he’s taking a chance opening a restaurant in the midst of a global pandemic, but he has a broader vision for Bao Bros. The restaurant has a stated goal of donating 40% of its proceeds back to the community — 20% going back to employees, and 20% going to a rotating list of nonprofit organizations. Garcia said he came up with the idea after working for a Fortune 200 company and seeing the massive profits such companies made.
“I come from a working class family, and until I graduated, I was really living paycheck to paycheck,” he said. “Then I looked at some of these companies and asked myself ‘Do they need that much money?”
Each month, Garcia will give 20% of Bao Bros. profits back to his employees, based on the hours they worked. He’ll also choose a monthly charity to donate to, based on community needs, such as during hurricane season.
“Opening a restaurant allows me to bring cultures and flavors of the world to people and communities that otherwise may not have an opportunity to experience them,” Garcia said in a statement. “We’re proud to challenge the status quo, not just in our family-friendly affordable food, but in our entire business model.”
Bao Bros. Bistro is open 11 am to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The restaurant also offers online ordering at baobrosbistro.com