Is A New Laurenzo Family Concept Slated For Midtown Houston? – Updated
An eagle-eyed reader spotted an employment ad on Craigslist for a new concept named Laurenzo’s Bar & Grill. The company is seeking candidates for “front and back of house.” The Laurenzo family are the heirs of legendary Tex-Mex pioneer “Mama” Ninfa Laurenzo and also helm the El Tiempo chain, as well as the Laurenzo’s restaurant on Washington. The address listed is for the former Republic Smokehouse & Saloon spot at 1910 Bagby.
Update, 12/28/2016, 3:24 p.m.: According to the Houston Business Journal, the new restaurant is in partnership with Landmark Hospitality, the owners of now-shuttered Republic Smokehouse & Saloon.
So, what’s a Laurenzo’s Grill? We’ve left a phone message at the company to get more information and will update this article if we get details.
However, there might be a clue from the past.
When Laurenzo’s first opened at 4412 Washington, according to an Culturemap Houston article it was actually called Laurenzo’s Grill and featured a menu of “American standards like the burgers, chili and steaks” as well as “Chicken Napoli and Spicy Shrimp fra Diavolo” and “stellar guacamole, white chili con queso and (prime rib) quesadillas.”
Hypothetically, the forthcoming Laurenzo’s Bar & Grill might sport a similar menu with a heavier bar emphasis to satisfy Midtown revelers and game-goers. Not-so-hypothetically, Laurenzo’s current chef de cuisine, Donny Navarrete, is listed on the Craigslist ad as also being chef of the new concept.
The details are still to be revealed, but one thing is clear: the Laurenzo family empire is continuing on a rapid expansion track.
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.