New Shopping Center Introduces a Bevy of Restaurants to Sugar Land

Sugar Land is getting a flurry of new restaurants and drink shops as each takes up residence in a new, multi-use center. University Commons is a 108,000-square-foot facility under development by Vista Equities Group and anchored by a Sprouts supermarket. The new eateries debuting here are of both the fast-casual and sit-down nature. All are part of one chain or another, but the good news is that most are small and originated in Texas.

In an earlier development phase, Kula Revolving Sushi Bar, CoCo Crêpes, NOLA Poboys and 85°C Bakery Café all took up residence in University Commons. These are all getting company this spring and summer.

Rapidly growing, Houston-based U Maki Sushi Burrito is setting down roots for its third location there (and the first that’s franchised). The first U Maki opened in far northwest Houston in the Vintage Marketplace in 2017 and a Katy outpost soon followed. “Sushi burritos” are filled with rice and fish, so these are sort of like regular sushi rolls, but much bigger. At U Maki, patrons can go down the line and specify ingredients, just as one would at Subway or Chipotle. There are 40 different items from which to choose, including salmon, tempura shrimp and softshell crab.

U Maki dishes
A selection of U Maki dishes: Fatboy, and Chicken U’Maki sushi burritos; Deep Diver and Salmon Ponzu maki bowls; U’Maki Fries and miso soup. Photo courtesy of U Maki.

After a stop at U Maki, a boba tea might make a perfect follow-up. Conveniently, the fourth FENG CHA location nationwide also has a home in the center. FENG CHA is a Chinese teahouse franchise that offers both traditional boba drinks as well as signature ones such as Matcha Red Bean Milk Tea, Ginger Milk Tea and the unusual-sounding Oreo Cheese Milk Tea. It’s the second location in the suburban Houston area; the first is at Katy Mills Mall.

The Sugar Land center is also going to be home to only the second Texas location of San Diego-based Luna Grill that is not in southern California. (The other is in Dallas.) The food offerings include kabobs — made with antibiotic- and hormone-free meat —falafel, salads, hummus, wraps and desserts alongside a selection of craft beer and wine.

In 1971, the first Schlotzky’s sandwich shop debuted in Austin and the company’s new Schlotzky’s Austin Eatery concept pays homage to that fact. The restaurant, which features a menu expanded beyond the original to include sliders, pasta dishes, pizza and salads, is slated for 2,700 square feet of space in University Commons.

Finally, early morning commuters might appreciate a healthy morning drink from the newest Tropical Smoothies Café, a Houston-grown chain that started in The Heights and is quickly making its way across Texas. While hours haven’t been announced yet for the Sugar Land location, which is set to open in the spring, others open at 7 a.m. and serve guests until 9 p.m. According to a press release, “In addition to its namesake smoothies, the fast-casual concept offers a menu of wraps, flatbreads, quesadillas, sandwiches and bowls.”

University Commons is about to undergo yet another stage of development and leasing. Interested companies should contact Brad Ryan and Geoff Bracken of Capital Retail Properties for more information.

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  • March 13, 2019 at 6:44 amC Mitchell

    We need a True Foods, benjy’s, dish society, local foods, farm to table type restaurants with a variety of options on the menu including vegan and gluten free options. Bella green is good but would love more options

  • March 11, 2019 at 3:39 pmSheila Sriram

    Bring in veggie option restaurants like True foods. Too many meat options . Too many Chinese and Mexican reataurants. We like soups made with veggie broth and not chicken broth.