Restaurateur Grant Cooper officially opened his new restaurant group’s first establishment Flora on Tuesday, March 1. Housed in the Dunlavy’s former event space overlooking Buffalo Bayou Park, the restaurant implements a Texas touch on cuisine inspired by small towns in Mexico.
Flora’s lunch and dinner menus both promise a mix of fresh salsas, moles, ceviche, street tacos using corn tortillas that are made in-house daily, and more. Highlights include barbacoa de Borrego — a braised lamb marinated in spices and accompanied by tortillas, refried beans, and Spanish rice; street tacos al pastor; and a seafood tostada topped with red snapper, octopus, and shrimp. Tequila and mezcal concoctions grace the cocktail list, including a ginger mezcalita made with poblano chili liqueur, ginger syrup, lime, and pineapple-cold pressed juice; the Escobar, made with tequila reposado, agave, and chili-chocolate bitters; and a classic Hemingway-style daiquiri.
The restaurant will also expand its menu starting this summer with a weekend brunch menu, according to a release.
Described as a “glass treehouse,” the establishment features endearing decor with more than 40 sparkling chandeliers, plush furniture, a brass and marble bar, pottery and art, and an outdoor terrace.
The restaurantFlora is the first restaurant for The Big Vibe Group, a hospitality group that restauranteur Grant Cooper launched after he and chef Charles Clark ended their 20-year partnership under Clark Cooper Concepts. As a result, Clark kept restaurant Brasserie 19, while Cooper kept Gratify, Coppa Osteria, and the Dunlavy’s space.
And this will not be the last restaurant opening for Cooper this year. Big Vibe is slated to open another restaurant this fall, but details have yet to be released by the hospitality group. Many signs, however, point to a Graffiti Raw, a new restaurant slated to open in the retail-dining hub, Montrose Collective, later this year.
Documents obtained by Eater Houston earlier this year showed that Cooper is behind the casual restaurant, which will offer light fare, fire-grilled proteins, and a vibe reminiscent of both Venice Beach, California, and Tulum, Mexico. A certificate of formation for Graffiti Raw, LLC, lists cooper as the manager.
Flora is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.