Killen's Steakhouse Moving

Houston's king of meat finds bigger location for steakhouse — new burger joint is next

Houston's king of meat plans bigger steakhouse and new burger joint

Marene why I became a chef April 2014 Ronnie Killen To make people happy. People always love the chef .
Ronnie Killen has already shown he knows steaks and barbecue. Now he'll add burgers to his resume. Photo by Kimberly Park
Killen's Burger preview
Killen blends brisket, bacon and pork belly to create his signature burger patty.  Killen's Barbecue/Facebook
Killen's Steakhouse new location
The new location will offer more seating and an expanded bar.  Killen's Steakhouse/Facebook
Killen's Steakhouse new location
Whether J.J. Watt gets his own entrance remains to be seen. Killen's Steakhouse/Facebook
Marene why I became a chef April 2014 Ronnie Killen To make people happy. People always love the chef .
Killen's Burger preview
Killen's Steakhouse new location
Killen's Steakhouse new location

Ronnie Killen has done it again.

For months, the chef/owner of two of the Houston-area's most well-regarded meat-centric restaurants, Killen's Steakhouse and Killen's Barbecue, has been planning to open a burger joint that would both expand his growing empire and cement his status as the city's undisputed king of meat. 

On Friday morning, Killen announced on Facebook that he will be moving his steakhouse to a new, larger location in Pearland. The current steakhouse building will then be converted into Killen's Burger. While Killen had planned to locate the burger joint in a former gas station, the opportunity to grow the steakhouse proved to be the better decision.

 Will Killen give Texans superstar J.J. Watt his own private entrance? "If he wants," Killen jokingly replies. "At least we won't have to worry about the guys hitting their heads on the ceiling." 

The chef tells CultureMap that he has put down $50,000 in earnest money to secure the deal on on the new location, which was recently Malibu Steak & Seafood. Closing on the new location will happen in 30 days, and Killen estimates the steakhouse will open in its new home a month or so later in September.

"We'll need one month to put our touches on it," the chef writes in a text.

For Killen, the opportunity to secure a larger space for his steakhouse comes with several advantages: "large bar, wine room, a place at the entrance for a dry aging room, banquet room. I will be able to do my own laundry and linens. NO CREASES IN MY LINEN," he writes. 

Will Killen give Texans superstar J.J. Watt his own private entrance? "If he wants," Killen jokingly replies. "At least we won't have to worry about the guys hitting their heads on the ceiling."

As for the burger joint, Killen estimates it will open five months or so after the steakhouse moves. He's planning an extensive set of renovations that includes an open kitchen, adding more windows and installing a rear patio. "It will be very 50s," the chef explains. 

"Honestly, I can't wait for the burger place," Killen continues. "Burgers and barbecue was my first restaurant. I did burgers better than my barbecue."

 "Honestly, I can't wait for the burger place," Killen says. "Burgers and barbecue was my first restaurant. I did burgers better than my barbecue." 

Just like at the barbecue joint, the focus at Killen's Burger will be squarely on the meat. The signature patty is a mix of brisket, pork belly and bacon, but diners will also have all beef, grass fed beef, turkey and chicken patties to choose from. More exotic meats such as elk and buffalo are also possibilities.
 
Those seeking lighter fare will have the option of a Hawaiian-style grilled tuna or even a vegetarian patty. 

Beverage options will include craft beer, milkshakes and "an old-fashioned fountain system." 

Killen built excitement for the barbecue joint with a series of pop-ups. Look for items from the the burger menu to start appearing as specials at the barbecue restaurant as soon as Killen installs a proper grill.

"We had one burger day already. People went nuts over them. Sold 80 burgers in 30 minutes," the chef writes. 

Arguing over where to find Houston's best burgers is as much a local past time as griping about traffic or speculating about the Texans' playoff chances. Killen is certainly entering a competitive landscape, but it sounds like he's bringing the same passion for delivering high quality that led the Food Network to name his barbecue joint No. 2 in the country.

If he delivers, we'll all be driving to Pearland even more often than we already are.