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Bludorn Team Sets Its Sights On Memorial For New Upscale Tavern

Set to open in Hedwig Village, this restaurant marks the third original concept for the power trio

From left, Victoria Pappas Bludorn, Aaron Bludorn, and Cherif Mbodji.
From left, Victoria Pappas Bludorn, Aaron Bludorn, and Cherif Mbodji.
Alex Montoya

And then there were three. Less than six months after debuting Navy Blue in Rice Village, the impressive modern American seafood-focused follow-up to Bludorn in Montrose, lauded chef Aaron Bludorn, and partners — wife Victoria Pappas Bludorn and Cherif Mbodji — have announced they are expanding their Houston portfolio with a third original concept. Heading outside of the loop this time, the trio leased the space that formerly housed Jonathan’s the Rub in Hedwig Village at 9061 Gaylord Drive for a yet-to-be-named restaurant that will open later this year.

“This location is particularly special to us given that Victoria grew up in the Memorial area,” said Aaron Bludorn. “As we grow our Houston footprint, we continue to be so thankful for the unwavering support of our patrons – both local and visiting – as well as the creativity and dedication of our incredible staff.”

Few details have emerged of the new Memorial restaurant, but the nearly 5,000-square-foot space, tucked discreetly off of I-10, is anticipated to be transformed into a classic, upscale tavern that will remain open daily for lunch, dinner, and cocktails.

The trio have celebrated a number of wins since launching Bludorn in 2020, a tumultuous time littered with challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Aaron was named a James Beard Award semifinalist in 2022, and beyond operating their restaurants, the trio has focused on their charitable efforts, raising more than 100,000 for non-profits, like C-CAP, World Central Kitchen, Texas Food and Wine Alliance, and Houston-based Southern Smoke Foundation. All signs point to things getting bigger and better for these Houston hospitality pros.