Don't Call it a Comeback

Crawfish pop-up previews iconic Houston seafood spot's imminent reopening

Crawfish pop-up previews iconic Houston seafood spot's reopening

Salty Supper Bryan Jennifer Caswell
Jennifer and Bryan Caswell are ready to reopen Reef. Photo by Killy Photography

Rumors of Reef's demise have been greatly exaggerated. The Midtown seafood restaurant will reopen with a pop-up on Sunday, April 14 before opening for lunch and dinner on Wednesday, April 17, according to a video posted to Facebook by owners Jennifer and Bryan Caswell and new general manager Scott Mitchell (Indianola).

As discussed in the video, Reef will host a pop-up on Sunday featuring Bryan Caswell's signature barbecue crab — described by Jennifer as "literally the number one reason" she married the chef — along with crawfish, beer, and a selection of punches. The pop-up starts at 2 pm and goes until the crawfish runs out. On Wednesday, the restaurant will begin the reopening process with Third Bar (the name for the bar area) before opening the main dining room within a week or two.  

Reef has been closed since August 2017; the restaurant suffered extensive damage during Hurricane Harvey when water leaked in through the roof. Periodically, the Caswells have hosted pop-ups and promised an imminent reopening that didn't materialize, but this time seems to be the real deal. 

Third Bar will be open for lunch, dinner, and late night service, but the other details are pending. The menu is still being finalized, according to Jennifer Caswell. 

Previously, the Caswells have described the project as "Reef 2.0." Potentially, it could offer a mix of Reef classics like crispy skin snapper and salmon with Meyer lemon risotto alongside dishes from his Caswell's brief tenure at Oxbow 7 (fingers crossed for the Cajun caviar with sausage and potato chips) and whatever new items Caswell has dreamed up during the remodeling. 

Even if its been awhile since Houstonians have eaten his food, excitement should be high. Caswell's pioneering use of Gulf seafood earned him a couple of James Beard Award finalist nominations for Best Chef: Southwest and the highly-coveted recognition as a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2009.