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A new late night restaurant for The Galleria area: Owner unafraid of past failures in location

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BB's Cafe Briar Grove Brooks Bassler
BB's Cafe Brooks Bassler stands inside the restaurant's fourth location, which will open in April.  Photo courtesy of BB's Cafe
BB's Cafe Briargrove Exterior
BB's Cafe will take over the former El Taco Tote space on Westheimer.  Photo courtesy of BB's Cafe
BB's Cafe Briargrove
Expect the usual Creole-inspired design.  Photo courtesy of BB's Cafe
BB's Cafe Briargrove
Another look at the ongoing renovation. Photo courtesy of BB's Cafe
BB's Cafe Briar Grove Brooks Bassler
BB's Cafe Briargrove Exterior
BB's Cafe Briargrove
BB's Cafe Briargrove

Until now, Cajun restaurant BB's Cafe has only opened locations inside the Loop, but that's all set to change in April, when owner Brooks Bassler will open his fourth location in the Briargrove area west of the Galleria.

The new location follows the pattern Bassler established in 2007 when he took over German restaurant Alfredo's and began serving the dishes he ate at his grandmother's table in Morgan City, Louisiana. "I find struggling restaurants in valuable locations and make them work," Bassler tells CultureMap.

In this case, BB's is taking over the space on Westheimer that housed both a Ninfa's and El Taco Tote. Bassler says he consulted with former Ninfa's co-owner Roland Lorenzo about the location before making the move and received enthusiastic feedback about its prospects. Furthermore, Bassler says that the kitchen "contained all new equipment," which limited the amount of capital required to renovate the space.

 "I find struggling restaurants in valuable locations and make them work." 

Finally, the area is already known for late night dining (which is a BB's specialty) thanks to the presence of both Chacho's and House of Pies

Bassler credits BB's success to the restaurant's food. The Heights location is a top destination for crawfish, serving up to 1,500 pounds per day at the season's peak. The restaurant's po' boys are inspired by Bassler's favorite spots in New Orleans, but one dish on the menu is closest to Bassler's heart.

It takes 24 hours to make grillades and grits the traditional way, but the results speak for themselves. "It's a process," Bassler admits,  that involves "slow cooking (beef tenderloin) in Cajun roux gravy," but customers keep ordering the dish.  

Of course, Bassler is already thinking about what's next. He has his eyes on Katy and Spring as possibilities, but he's really intrigued by the development currently taking place in the Second Ward. Calling it "underdeveloped and underserved," he's seen the success of both The Original Ninfa's on Navigation and El Tiempo as an indication BB's could find success there, too.

That's all in the future. For now, the extended Galleria area can prepare itself for a new late night destination.

Who wants a po' boy?

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