James Beard Award-winning pitmaster Aaron Franklin and Chef Tyson Cole opened their first Houston location of Loro Asian Smokehouse & Bar in the Heights in February. Now, the chefs are plotting their second Houston location in Rice Village, slated to open next summer.
Austin-based restaurant group Hai Hospitality announced in a release Wednesday, March 12, that the fifth Loro restaurant in Texas will be located in the Southampton area at 5333 Kirby Drive. Franklin, known for Franklin Barbecue in Austin, and Cole, of celebrated sushi restaurant Uchi, opened the first Loro in Austin in 2018, and then Loro Dallas in 2021. Loro Addison, also in the Dallas area, is on track to open later this year.
The menu promises the expected robust flavors of traditional Texas barbecue and smoked meats merged with Southeast Asian and Japanese-inspired sauces and herbs. Highlights will include appetizers like candied kettle corn with burnt brisket ends as a topping; rice bowls; sandwiches; and dishes like fried cod made with curry, turmeric, and Pale Ale tempura batter served with a yuzu Thousand Island dressing. Guests can also unwind with boozy slushies, batch cocktails, beer, wine, and sake.
Abel Design Group and Hai Design Studio will lead the design of the restaurant, with the goal of encouraging people to gather. The restaurant will seat 200 people total, with around 75 seats outdoors.
The rendering for the restaurant, provided by Say My Name PR, shows that the location will also feature retail space, bike racks for those driving in, and a front patio area.