Exciting new restaurants, shops coming to Montrose Collective as soon as next month

Montrose Collective is opening several new restaurants and other food concepts in 2022.

Photo: Montrose Collective

New food ventures are coming soon to Montrose Collective, the mixed-use development on Westheimer Rd that’s currently anchored on the culinary side by Uchi.

Residents and visitors to the hip Houston neighborhood can look forward to several new restaurants, a coffee shop and an ice cream shop, all opening this year — one as early as next month. Idle Hands, a tropical cocktail bar with a rooftop, opened last November.

While that corner of Montrose has become known for Uchi, the fine-dining sushi institution that started in Austin and has since expanded to Houston and Dallas, the new offerings will feature more of a mix of every day dining and special occasion destinations.

“We really like to create projects that are enduring to the neighborhood,” said Steve Radom, the managing principal of Radom Capital, the real estate development and investment firm behind Montrose Collective. “We know that development in Houston is typically the land of the stucco strip center or the glass box.”

Radom says he wanted to challenge the assumption that an office building can’t have anything that caters to more than the office tenants. He adds that Montrose Collective is “meant to be as much for the neighborhood and people that live within a mile or two as it is for people that are coming in on a Friday or Saturday night.”

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The first new concept will be Van Leeuwen, slated to open in February. The cult-favorite ice cream shop from New York opened its first two Houston locations last year, one in Rice Village and the other in Uptown Park.

In March, Atlas Restaurant Group will open Marmo, a sophisticated Italian restaurant modeled on Tagliata, one of the group’s best Baltimore concepts. Radom says the Baltimore restaurant company is trying to make Houston “a second home” — it also has a location of Ouzo Bay in River Oaks.

An oyster bar called Chelsea is also in the works by a Dallas-based group that has tapped a yet-to-be-disclosed Houston chef. The concept will have a large patio space shaded by live oak trees, and serve oysters, seafood and drink classics like martinis.

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Another soon-to-be-announced Houston hospitality group will be heading Graffiti Raw, a restaurant inspired by the casual vibes of California’s Venice Beach and the food culture of Tulum in Mexico — “the kind of place that’s open for brunch and early lunch (where) you can show up in shorts, you can show up in jeans, and then in the evening it’s a really fun spot,” said Radom.

Expect a focus on raw dishes like ceviche as well as fire-grilled meats and seafood. Radom says the secret chef is “a very-well traveled guy.”

Picnik, a healthy restaurant with two locations in Austin, is opening its first location outside Austin at Montrose Collective. It began as a business making nondairy creamers, then morphed into a food trailer and is now onto its third brick and mortar. The concept caters to people with food allergies and dietary restrictions, offering gluten-free, vegetarian, paleo dishes and more.

A new coffee shop is also coming to the area, which according to Eater is La La Land Kind Cafe, a spot in Dallas that hires foster youth as a key part of its mission.

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Radom teased a new wine bar and bottle shop, run by the former manager of “a very well-known Montrose restaurant” who has worked in Houston for a long time. It will serve a concise food menu of sandwiches and salads.

Montrose Collective is also branching out beyond food. The second and third floor of a key building will be home to the Montrose Public Library, a previously announced partnership with the City of Houston that is bringing the old Freed-Montrose Library to the property.

More details about upcoming concepts at Montrose Collective will be announced on a rolling basis throughout the year.

  • Emma Balter

    Emma Balter is an entertainment reporter for the Houston Chronicle.

    She writes mainly about food and drink, but loves to follow a good feature story wherever it takes her. Before joining the Chronicle in March 2020, Balter worked for Wine Spectator magazine for six years as a writer, editor and tasting coordinator. She has also contributed to Condé Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, Eater, PureWow, Chowhound and VinePair, among others.

    Balter grew up in Paris, France, where she got an early taste for good food and wine. She studied English Literature at Newcastle University in the U.K. and was the lifestyle editor of the student newspaper. She lives in Montrose with her cat, Chenin.

    Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaBalter

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