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College Station Fried Chicken Chain Layne’s Will Open in Northwest Houston

Plus, viral star Larray opens a mac-and-cheese ghost kitchen and more Houston dining intel

A basket of chicken tenders served with Texas toast and a milkshake. A salad sits in the background.
Layne’s Chicken Fingers will open its first location in Houston proper.

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College Station favorite Layne’s Chicken Fingers will open a Garden Oaks location

Cult-favorite College Station chain Layne’s Chicken Fingers, known for its crispy friend chicken strips served with an assortment of dipping sauces and in sandwich form, will continue its Houston expansion with a location just outside the Loop, on Ella Boulevard.

Permits filed with the State of Texas show a Layne’s location going into 3008 Ella Boulevard, just north of the 610 Loop, and interestingly, right across from a Raising Cane’s location. A website for the shopping center’s real estate broker also teases the restaurant’s arrival.

Layne’s, which was founded in 1994 and has been a favorite of Texas A&M students ever since, opened its first Houston-area outpost in Katy in June. Now, Central Houstonians will have an even closer location. No word yet on an opening date for the restaurant.

Mexican-inspired Brewhouse and craft beer bar coming to Lincoln Heights

A brewery and craft beer bar will soon open on Airline Drive, according to the Houston Business Journal. Big Owl Craft Beer House, at 1848 Airline Drive, is a collaboration between Al Gonzales, who will run the bar, and brewers Louie Espinoza and Oscar Gonzalez, (no relation to Al), the minds behind Turkey Forrest Brewing.

The beer house, which opens Saturday, September 4, will feature craft beer 24 taps, with at least a few reserved for Turkey Forrest, whose heavy stouts, hop-forward IPAs, and Mexican-inspired beers will be brewed in a back room. Oscar Gonzalez told HBJ that the bar hopes to target the neighborhood’s Hispanic community, and introduce other craft beer lovers to different brewing styles. Al Gonzales said the brewery will be the first in Houston to be fully owned by Mexican-Americans.

TikTok star Larray’s new ghost kitchen is now slinging wacky mac and cheese in Houston

Larray, the social media star with more than 25 million subscribers on TikTok, is launching a delivery-only restaurant in Houston this week, according to Business Insider. Larray’s Loaded Mac will serve seven varieties of the pasta dish, including a pizza-inspired sersion called “That Girl”, and a mac loaded with pulled pork, Fritos and onions. Diners can order from delivery apps like Grubhub, DoorDash, and Postmates, or directly from the Loaded Mac website.

Larray, who’s full name is Larri Merritt, told Insider that grandmother, a home cook, inspired him to get into the virtual restaurant business. He also said he plans to release a Youtube reaction video of his grandmother trying Loaded Mac’s version of her signature dish.