Montrose’s barbecue restaurant, the Pit Room, is bringing its Central Texas-style barbecue, meaty tacos, and homemade desserts to Memorial City next year — but in a bigger way.
Located at 10301-A Katy Freeway in Memorial City, the Pit Room’s second location is slated to open in early fall 2023, with a larger kitchen, and more food, including a homemade sausage grinding station and an ice cream sandwich bar.
“What we’re really excited about is the extra space, and the Pit Room is a small footprint, meaning we’re limited with what we can do production-wise,” says owner Michael Sambrooks. With more space, comes an expanded kitchen, meaning the restaurant can offer more menu items.
Sambrooks says the restaurant has plans to install a couple of thousand-gallon pits and will create a dedicated sausage-grinding and -mixing station that will help expand its homemade sausage offerings from to four or three varieties with a weekly special. The restaurant will also continue its burger and steak nights, host its traditional boils during crawfish season, and experiment more with its homemade desserts, creating its own cookies and ice cream in-house that will fuel the ice cream sandwich bar.
Sambrooks says the second location will have a similarly eclectic and homey vibe to the flagship, but a grown-up version. “It will have a casual atmosphere that invites you to come as you are, grab a beer, sit on the patio, grab a sandwich, or maybe a taco. We have the saying that [the Pit Room] is a block party seven days a week, and we want to keep that mentality. We’re not a formal sit-down or fancy barbecue joint. We’re just trying to nail that Texas barbecue vibe,” Sambrooks says.
The restaurant will still use line service, with barbecue cut-to-order. Architect Kevin Tietz of Phillip Ewald Architecture and interior designer, Dawn Arcieri, of KT Ventures, will ensure the new location mirrors Montrose’s “rustic-casual” atmosphere, incorporating an adjoining 2,610-square-foot patio that seats more than 80 guests (similar to the Patio at the original Pit Room), plus a private patio area for 30 people. The dining room, which features counter service, will seat more than 100 people and will feature a to-go counter with a mini store where diners can purchase meats, sausages, sauces, and other items to-go, and an indoor-outdoor bar that’s prime for viewing sports while drinking and dining.
Sambrooks — who operates other Houston restaurants, including the Patio at the Pit Room, 1751 Sea and Bar, Candente, and anticipated steakhouse Andiron under his hospitality group Sambrooks Management Company — says expanding to MetroNational’s Benignus Plaza in Memorial City, which is also known as Katy III, means reaching more diners where they are.
“I have been looking out in Memorial for three years now, and I’ve always thought it be a fantastic market that is underserved with local restaurants, but there were limited opportunities, and then this [location] came up,” Sambrooks says. The owner says he met with Metro National, who noted that they wanted to incorporate a barbecue brand in the mixed space. “It was one of those deals we couldn’t pass up. It’s far enough away from the original Pit Room, but still serving some of our regular customers but closer to home. I’m hoping it’ll be a huge hit.”
As for Sambrooks’ other properties, including Candente, he says while he would love to offer additional locations, there are no plans for expansions yet.