New Combination Restaurant, Coffee Shop & Bar Aims to Be an All-Day Downtown Houston Retreat
Sean Marshall, owner of Southside Espresso, has teamed up with self-described “serial entrepreneur” Charles “Chaz” Lusk on Coterie, an all-day café serving breakfast, lunch and dinner at 737 Preston on the ground floor of Market Square Tower. The name means, “a small group of people with shared interests or tastes.” Coterie is now in its soft-opening phase while the staff applies the “finishing touches,” according to a press release. Patrons can park in the One Market Square garage and get up to two hours validated.
“I think the location and proximity below 400 residential units drove the decision for all day dining, plus we want to be on the ground floor of bringing more options to the downtown area,” explained Lusk.
Chris Welsley, formerly of Eatsie Boys, Better Luck Tomorrow and Oxheart, is in charge of Coterie’s farm-to-table kitchen. While the menu is still being finalized, there are housemade pastries and kolaches in the morning. For lunch and dinner are salads, wraps, a 100-percent waygu beef burger and Neapolitan-style pizzas. Lusk says that there’s a happy hour menu in development as well.
To serve early morning crowds when the doors open at 6:30 a.m., there are coffee and espresso beverages made with Marshall’s own roasted coffee brand, Fusion Beans, as well as fresh juices. For beverages to go alongside some of the heartier dishes, there’s craft beer, seasonal cocktails and also wine, which is a big focus at Coterie. While Marshall is best known for his coffee, he’s currently working on his Court of Master Sommelier certifications. Lusk, whose past experience is in the consulting and investment arenas, is also amping up his knowledge by following the Wine and Spirits Education Trust curriculum.
“We want to be disciplined with our [wine] choices but also approach the selection from a consumer’s perspective,” said Marshall via press release. “We like to think of ourselves as curators of the wines and their stories and believe the customer will appreciate the special qualities we communicate around each option.”
Italian interior design firm Costa Group created the space with lighting that automatically adjusts so the ambiance changes as the day fades into night. Other features include 25-foot ceilings, a walk-in wine room, an espresso bar and a counter-side wine display that lets patrons decide among the current selections.
“The visual features of [Coterie] were designed to serve as both a morning respite and evening retreat,” said Lusk. “With our unique décor, we can purposefully change the energy of Coterie with our lighting and music to match the way downtown Houston changes its ambiance preferences as the day and week progresses.”
With the debut of Diana under chef Robert Del Grande, Agricole Hospitality’s three new EaDo concepts, Bravery Chef Hall opening in the not-too-distant future and now this new addition of Coterie, the downtown Houston area is back in the spotlight for new dining experiences.
Coterie’s hours are 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturdays and 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.
I caught one of the “soft opening” afternoons last week and it was great! The honey fried chicken and chive biscuits with tomato jam was amazing.