After roughly three successful years of dishing out jollof jambalaya, stewed plantains, and creative West African dishes in Post Houston’s food hall, ChòpnBlọk is finally branching out with its first flagship restaurant in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood.
Starting as early as this spring, the new brick-and-mortar at 507 Westheimer Street will offer an even larger menu of West African dishes and cuisine mashups thanks to a larger kitchen and bar. Owner Ope Amosu says he and his team are excited to bring to life some of his initial dreams for ChòpnBlọk during his dinner series and pop-up days, including showcasing African-born spirits and cocktails. Already, Amosu has plans to feature Sangar Rum, which was developed by a Liberian entrepreneur and a fellow Rice University alumnus, plus a lineup of cocktails like ChòpnBlọk’s pineapple and ginger-loaded Gin and Juice; the TLC, a tamarind lime cooler; Ikoyi Chapmans, a popular band of the popular Nigerian citrusy non-alcoholic soda, and other options that incorporate fun ingredients like plantain syrup and spices like Cameroon pepper.
Amosu says he also plans for brunch to be a fixture at the restaurant, with the return of items like ChòpnBlọk’s plantain pancakes from ChòpnBlọk’s pop-up days.
Amosu describes the planned restaurant as a “finer” fast-casual restaurant with an approach similar to popular local restaurants like Local Foods or Asian-style smokehouse Loro — both use counter-service, requiring diners to order with a cashier before food is delivered to their tables. Amosu also says the decor will be meaningful, including natural woods, brown and green decor, plants, and textiles with patterns significant to West African culture.
Amosu says Montrose, a highly trafficked neighborhood with ample dining options, was on the shortlist of locations in the Loop to build the restaurant’s flagship. “We were looking for a neighborhood that we could really serve and grow with and add an additional layer of culture and uniqueness to it. We felt like the Montrose customer has shown interest, and there’s no concept there like ours,” he says.
The restaurant has evolved over the years, starting as a pop-up in 2018 that hosted dinner series to a popular food stall that opened in Downtown’s Post Houston food hall market in 2021. Amosu describes Post Houston as a “stepping stone” to sharing more of the essence of West Africa and the diaspora while creating spaces where people can “come together, connect, and get a deeper appreciation and understanding of the culture and how to be more accessible.”
In 2023, Amosu also debuted the Chopd & Stewd Fest, a festival leading up to Nigerian Independence Day that celebrated the West African diaspora and its cuisine with scheduled speakers, vibrant music, wellness programming, and bites.