Cowboy Surfer, the long-await hotspot from Liberty Kitchen founders F.E.E.D. TX Restaurant Group, has finally opened in Memorial City.
The bar, inspired by the brief 1960s cowboy-surfer culture of spots like the Texas Gulf Coast, opened quietly on Thanksgiving at 827 Frostwood Drive. It was a long time coming.
The restaurant was first announced way back in 2012 by Liberty Kitchen chef Lance Fegen, under the name Surfing Cowboys and with a location on Ella. Businessman and partner Jim Jard eventually secured the Memorial City spot in 2019, and in June of that year Liberty Kitchen was teasing dishes from Cowboy Surfer, including a po’ boy with fried shrimp, oysters, pork carnitas and bacon jam, on its Facebook page.
A few things have changed since 2019 though, and not just the coronavirus. For one, F.E.E.D. TX no longer owns the Liberty Kitchen chain. It was sold to Culinary Khancepts, owner of State Fare restaurants, in August. That might have freed up Carl Eaves, creative director of F.E.E.D. TX, to finally focus on Cowboy Surfer. Along with Jard, Eaves has also partnered with Jack Massing, one half of legendarily subversive creative duo the Art Guys.
The restaurant, Eaves said in a statement, is meant to be a “laid-back respite from the hectic Houstonian life.”
That vibe includes details like Texas comfort food, live music (eventually), and art and memorabilia on the walls of the 1,850 square-foot space. Bar bites include Texas chili and Dorito chili pie, nachos and cheeseburgers, and a selection of pizzas. Lance Fegen, who is still at Liberty Kitchen, consulted on the menu. But the real focus is on the drinks, categorized by “surfer”, including a Dark & Stormy, a prickly pear margarita, and a variation on the lemon drop; or “cowboy”, with Ranch Water cocktails, Bloody Mary’s and a mezcal coffee cocktail.
For now, Cowboy Surfer is sticking to 50% capacity, and is not hosting live music until its owners feel it is safe to do so. Hours are 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday, Friday and Saturday, and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.