Last week, Lucille’s chef Chris Williams dropped a huge announcement, that he’d be expanding his culinary empire with two new restaurants — one in Houston and one in Halifax, Nova Scotia — and was also planning to open a coffee shop. Now we know where that second Houston restaurant will be.
The restaurant, called Late August, will anchor the Ion, the 16-acre multi-use district centered around the old Sears building in Midtown. As Eater previously reported, Late August will “explore the soul of Afro-Asian flavors,” and will feature Kulture chef Dawn Burrell at the helm. (It’s also been a big week for Burrell, who was just named as one of the contestants on the upcoming 18th season of Bravo reality cooking show Top Chef). According to a press release, the restaurant will channel the former department store’s mid-century heyday through its menu. The name Late August is a direct reference to the store’s massive annual pre-holiday catalog, which sold everything from clothing to guitars to motorcycles.
“Our goal with Late August is to honor the origins of the property, while also tapping into its future,” Williams says in the release.
Two other restaurants were named as part of the announcement. The first is Stuff’d Wings, the hugely popular food truck that serves up boudin- and mac and cheese-stuffed fried chicken wings. This will be chef Jarrod Rector’s first brick-and mortar restaurant. Rector will also introduce new menu items, including milkshakes, smoked wings, and loaded fries.
The third restaurant is a location of Common Bond’s new on-the-go concept, which serves takeout sandwiches, pastries, croissants, and coffees. No word yet on if the Ion’s location will include a drive through.
The centerpiece of the Ion project, which will serve as an innovation hub complete with coworking spaces, classrooms, and more, is the 1930s-era Sears building, which had undergone numerous renovations before closing in January of 2018. The project includes an extensive refurbishment of the old department store to return it to its mid-century architectural splendor. Late August, Stuff’d Wings, and Common Bond on the Go are expected to open in early summer 2021, with more tenant announcements coming soon.