Tyson Cole is synonymous with great sushi in Austin. And soon he'll be bringing his bombastic sushi to Houston.
Hired as a dishwasher while attending the University of Texas studying painting and architecture, Cole fell in love with Japanese food and worked his way up. He opened Uchi in 2003, earning a Food & Wine Magazine Best New Chef nod in 2005, and a semifinalist spot in the James Beard Awards from 2008-2010. And Cole could be spotted nationally taking on his idol, Masaharu Morimoto, on Iron Chef America.
With two restaurants in Austin (Uchi and the new Uchiko), plus more set to open inside the W Hotel-Austin later this year, Cole has set his sights on Houston.
Reps for Cole have confirmed that Cole is bringing his Uchi concept to Houston, though they are still deciding on a location. (Our completely baseless guess puts him in West Ave., but we could also see Uchi in a converted bungalow in the Heights.)
Update: Swamplot (via My Table) is reporting that Cole and his partners have bought the building that formerly housed Felix, near the corner of Westheimer and Montrose, with the likely intent to tear down for a new structure by Austin-based Michael Hsu Design Office, who also designed Uchi, Uchiko and Midtown's Sushi Raku.
Update #2: Cole's publicist corrects the Felix rumors: "The Felix location is under contract and has not closed, so it is not final. And we have no intention of tearing down the building. It is our intent to NOT tear it down. We plan to open the restaurant in late 2011."
Uchi Houston is tentatively scheduled to open in 2011.