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Beloved Montrose Bar the Hay Merchant Will Shutter by the End of 2021

Chef Chris Shepherd’s steakhouse Georgia James will also be departing from Westheimer to a new location

The Hay Merchant is a Montrose must
The Hay Merchant in Montrose
The Hay Merchant/Facebook
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

After more than a decade of serving eats out of the space at 1100 Westheimer Road in Montrose, chef Chris Shepherd’s Underbelly Hospitality is on the move.

Georgia James, the ritzy steakhouse that took over the space formerly occupied by Shepherd’s groundbreaking Houston restaurant Underbelly, will relocate to Allen Parkway corridor development Regent Square in the coming months. Originally, the plan was to open a completely different restaurant there, focused on live-fire cooking, but that project has been “shelved” to make way for Georgia James’s new home.

In addition to opening Georgia James at Regent Square, Shepherd’s restaurant group has also signed a second lease on a space at the development. It’s unclear what exactly that restaurant will be just yet, but expect an offshoot inspired by one of the ever-rotating iterations of Shepherd’s “five restaurants in five years project,” One Fifth.

In less-exciting news, Underbelly Hospitality will also shutter its popular beer bar the Hay Merchant by the end of the year. According to a press release, future plans for that concept are “undetermined” as of yet, but one of its most popular dishes — the Cease and Desist burger — will live on at Underbelly’s forthcoming burger joint at the Houston Farmers Market.

Stay tuned for more details on Underbelly Hospitality’s major moves out of Montrose — and when diners can expect the new Georgia James to open.