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Foodie-loved Houston burger icon is opening a new restaurant in a most unlikely locale

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Hubcap Grill Houston Texas BBQ Burger hamburger with barbecue sausage
Good news Kemah and Clear Lake residents; pretty soon you won't have to drive an hour to get a Texas BBQ burger.  Ricky Craig/Twitter
Ricky Craig, Hubcap Grill, hamburger, burger
"What I like about Kemah is it's so laid back," Hubcap owner Ricky Craig tells CultureMap.  Photo by © Chuck Cook/Flickr
Hubcap Grill, sign
This sign is from the downtown location, but Hubcap Grill will open a third location in Kemah in March or April.  Photo by Courtney Rose/Twitter
Hubcap Grill Houston Texas BBQ Burger hamburger with barbecue sausage
Ricky Craig, Hubcap Grill, hamburger, burger
Hubcap Grill, sign

Hubcap Grill will add a third location in Kemah, owner Ricky Craig has revealed. The restaurant's first location outside the Loop will bring the full menu of creative burgers, fries and craft beer that earned Hubcap a space on CultureMap's list of Houston's 10 best burgers.

"A lot of people who come to 19th Street on the weekends drive from Kemah and Clear Lake," Craig tells CultureMap, but that's not the only reason he chose to open there after a three-year search for a location. "I've always wanted someplace on the coast . . . what I like about Kemah is it's so laid back. That's what Hubcap is all about."

 "I want to start a mini-empire. After Kemah, who know what the future may hold?" 

Craig says he "ain't worried" about opening near local institutions like Tookie's and Stomp's, because he thinks Hubcap's burgers are different enough from their offerings to attract customers. 

The location itself is next to Holiday Inn and around the corner from the popular Kemah Boardwalk. "My father Richard stumbled on it," Craig says. Since it had been an existing restaurant, Craig thinks the space only needs cosmetic changes. He's already applied for a beer license. As with both the Heights and downtown locations, the kitchen is pretty small, but "I kinda like small kitchens. Everyone knows their spot," Craig says. 

Craig's father is a fixture at the downtown location, and he's tapped another family member, his brother-in-law Darren, to assist in Kemah. "I'm blessed to have my mom and dad work with me," Craig notes. Darren starts training next week. Craig says he'll learn every aspect of Hubcap's operations from grilling burgers to ordering beer. 

Craig has big plans for the future. "I want to start a mini-empire. After Kemah, who know what the future may hold? If this goes well, I think maybe Katy."

As for CK's Steakhouse, his partnership with Ronnie Killen, Craig says that his lawyer has completed a review of the lease and will submit his changes to the property's landlord. If everyone agrees, "we could sign next week. The drawings are done. The city said we can start building the foundation and plumbing."

Why does Craig stay so busy instead of enjoying the fruits of his labor? "My motto is: Work hard, play later."

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