Once slated to be a spin-off of the now-shuttered Facundo Cafe, the F.E.E.D. team has converted the former Gerland's Grocery store into a 140-seat restaurant with Liberty Kitchen's signature coastal design. Partner Carl Eaves drew on his childhood home in England for the space's eclectic look, which mixes wallpaper, reclaimed wood, subway tile, and chandeliers for a look "that truly exudes happy," according to a statement from the company.
Chef Lance Fegen's "surfer wanderlust" informs the seafood-oriented menu. Like both the River Oaks and Heights locations, the new Liberty Kitchen features an oyster bar. Like Rice Village's "Little Liberty," the restaurant also features build-your-own poke bowls. The Hawaiian raw seafood dish is one of the country's hottest dining trends; the version at Liberty Kitchen starts with salmon or tuna and can be customized with 18 different ingredients including avocado, mango, jalapeno, wasabi peas, fried egg, pork belly carnitas, and fried oysters (whew).
In addition to poke, Fegen has drawn upon his childhood for dishes like Cape Cod clams and spaghetti and coal-roasted spaghetti squash. Liberty Kitchen staples like bacon jam, the Liberty burger, and shrimp and andouille gumbo have made the trip north, too. Weekend brunch is present and accounted for, too.
Looking for a little insight into how the group feels about the departure of Lee Ellis to form Cherry Pie Hospitality, which has converted Pour Society to State Fare and is opening a brick and mortar location of Pi Pizza Truck? The release identifies Fegen, Eaves and partner Will Davis as "the heart of F.E.E.D TX’s food, design and operations respectively." Shots fired?
An exact opening date is still up in the air. For now, a representative will only commit to "mid-June." For Garden Oaks residents with a poke craving, it can't come quickly enough.