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Houston Chef Chris Shepherd Takes Aim at Trump’s Proposed Wine Tariffs

Plus, more Houston dining intel

Chris Shepherd in an apron.
Chris Shepherd
Julie Soefer

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Underbelly chef Chris Shepherd speaks out against Trump wine tariffs

Houston culinary superstar Chris Shepherd is speaking out against the Trump administration’s proposed 100 percent tariffs on wine and other specialty food like olive oil or cheese imported from the European Union. Shepherd and wine director Matthew Pridgen of Underbelly Hospitality penned an op-ed for the Houston Chronicle explaining how devastating these tariffs would be to the Houston hospitality scene, and anyone who enjoys an affordable glass of French wine.

The duo calls the tariffs “a strange and serious threat to the food and beverage industry,” laying down a call to action. They write: “As concerned small-business owners, friends of family-run wine businesses and employers of more than 200 Houston residents, we beseech you readers: Help us petition our lawmakers and put an end to this. The proposed tariffs on wine and specialty goods from the EU are inefficient, ineffective and do disproportionate harm to American businesses.”

Tilman Fertitta’s restaurant chain shopping spree continues

Houston billionaire restaurateur Tilman Fertitta is on a roll when it comes to scooping up restaurant chains out of bankruptcy. News broke last week that the Houston Rockets owner is poised to add to his steakhouse empire by acquiring The Palm in a $50 million deal. Now, the Houston Business Journal reports that Fertitta’s Landry’s Inc. bid $7.5 million to acquire the American bar and grill chain Cadillac Ranch chain. With locations in Maryland, Pittsburgh, and Minneapolis’s Mall of America (each equipped with a mechanical bull), Cadillac Ranch serves up easygoing food like steaks, burgers, flatbreads, and wings.

Healthy chain Flower Child reveals its opening date for the Heights

Get ready for the third Houston outpost of Flower Child, a chain known for its fancy toasts and colorful salad and bowls built with ingredients like spicy sweet potato noodles. The anticipated Heights location of Flower Child is landing at the Market at Houston Heights with an opening date slated for March 24. This location at 1533 North Shepherd is near other eateries like Snooze, La Lucha, and Heights Bier Garten. Flower Child is currently open in The Woodlands and Uptown Park.

The Heights Flower Child is on the hunt for employees: stop by a job fair at the restaurant from Monday, March 2 to Saturday, March 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Sunday.