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After Politan Row’s Shutter, Chef Keisha Griggs’s Caribbean Cuisine Makes a Comeback

Also: former Kin chef Evelyn Garcia will use part of the space for catering and to produce a new line of Southeast Asian condiments and spice blends

Politan Row
Poiltan Row
Jenn Duncan/Politan Row

Two former Politan Row vendors will take over the space of the recently-shuttered Rice Village food hall.

Ate and Kin, which both had booths at Politan Row, are reopening in the kitchen space of the food hall at 2445 Times Boulevard, which closed abruptly in November due to the coronavirus.

Ate, which serves up Caribbean inspired by Chef Keisha Griggs’s Trinidadian roots, is already open. The restaurant’s dishes, like jerk chicken, pepper shrimp, rice and peas and curries chickpea-stuffed flatbreads, are available for takeout and delivery. Diners can order from Ate through the restaurant’s website.

Meanwhile, Kin chef Evelyn Garcia is transitioning from cooking scratch-made Thai food to making and selling a line of Southeast Asian-inspired condiments and spice rubs. While Kin will not have a storefront at the Rice Village kitchen, the company’s spices are for sale at other locations throughout Houston, including Local Foods, Henderson & Kane and the Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market. Garcia will also offering catering through the kitchen.

When it opened in November 2019, Politan Row promised an upscale, locally focused take on the food hall from the minds behind New Orleans’s legendary St. Roch Market. In addition to Ate and Kin, it also housed spots like Peruvian-Japanese eatery Pacha Nikkei, chef Victoria Elizondo’s popular Cochinita and Co, and Breaking Bao.

After just a year in Houston, the hall announced its closure in an Instagram post on November 13. “We’ve been closed due to the pandemic much longer than we were actually open” the post read. “Politan Row Houston will unfortunately close its doors, but we want to encourage and support all the food and beverage entrepreneurs that are pressing on.”