Isn’t it Ion(ic), don’t you think? A little too Ion(ic)… New Houston Restaurants Are Coming to Midtown
Rice University is transforming the former Sears in Midtown into a new 266,000-square foot technology hub located at 4201 Main. Called the Ion, it will function as the centerpiece of the new 16-acre innovation district currently in development and serve as a working space for future innovators. There is also storefront space for several local restaurants. The Ion has announced four distinct dining establishments that allow for the diversity of Houston’s cultures and cuisines to shine.
Houston Food Finder was invited to a preview tour of the Ion, which included a food sampling from the forthcoming restaurants.
Common Bond displayed many of the items that will be available at the Ion location. Photo by Ryan Baker.
Houston bakery chain Common Bond has expanded quickly in the last few years, helped by the introduction of its on-the-go concepts. The Ion is home to its newest location. With spots in the Heights and Garden Oaks, the on-the-go locations serve an assortment of essential baked goods like pastries including chewy brownies and blondies, buttery croissants, an assortment of macarons and chocolate chip cookies. For hungrier guests, there is also a selection of savory and substantial sandwiches and salads.
Father-son partners, Michael and David Cordúa, present their first venture since leaving the family’s hospitality group Cordúa Restaurants, which consists of well-known Houston restaurants Churascos, America’s and Artista. Lymbar, named for the street the Corduas lived on growing up, focused around the bar program with an emphasis on its craft cocktails and barrel-aged spirits to complement the fusion food menu of Latin and Mediterranean flavors. For the preview of Lymbar, the restaurant brought out Latin aspects of the menu including one-bite taco salads and ceviche.
Chris Williams, chef-owner of modern Southern kitchen Lucille’s, is teaming up with Top Chef season 18 contestant, olympic athlete and James Beard Award nominee Dawn Burrell for the concept Late August. This spot intends to pay homage to the building’s history, beginning with the name. It is a nod to the yearly, pre-Christmas catalog released by Sears. Late August features a unique menu centered around Afro-Asian cuisine designed by chef Burrell. Of the restaurants at the Ion, Late August’s potentially showcases the most upscale atmosphere and food. The preview booth served visually curious and uniquely flavored dishes that was inundated with tasters attempting to decipher what was being served.
Jarrod and Prisoria Rector’s popular food truck Stuff’d is taking over the old Shipley’s Do-Nuts location across the street from the Ion building. The food truck serves chicken wings loaded with items typically served as side dishes, but instead stuffed into the chicken before cooking. Choose from shrimp, chicken, or pork boudin, macaroni and cheese, and dirty rice. With the new brick-and-mortar location, the Rectors are expanding the food menu to include smoked wings, milkshakes, loaded french fries and more. Stuff’d garnered a lot of attention at its preview table, with the restaurant presenting its macaroni and cheese and two boudin varieties.
The Ion’s restaurants do not have firm opening dates as of yet, but be on the lookout for these new additions to Midtown’s culinary landscape.