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Major Restaurant Shakeup

Major Houston restaurant shakeup: Chef bolts critic-beloved Galleria spot for new local chain

Osteria Mazzantini Mockingbird Bistro John Sheely and Paul
Paul Lewis, left, will depart Osteria Mazzantini after service July 19 to join a new concept with The Union Kitchen owner Paul Miller.  Photo by Paula Murphy

The Osteria Mazzantini saga has taken another turn. Executive chef Paul Lewis will end his tenure at the critically-acclaimed and customer-challenged Galleria area restaurant after next Saturday's dinner service to join a new partnership with expanding local restaurant chain The Union Kitchen.

Speaking on The Cleverley Show on CBS 650 AM, Union Kitchen owner Paul Miller said Lewis will join the company to open a new, yet to be announced concept.

"We're very excited to have him on the team," Miller told radio host Cleverley Stone. "There's a lot of things that we've been talking about over the course of the past year, some different menu things we want to do."

Miller tells CultureMap that he's close to a deal on a new space and already has a decor in mind. "We have a name, but I need to trademark it," he says.

If everything falls into place, the new restaurant could be open in as soon as 60 to 75 days, which suggests that, if nothing else, it's a well equipped, possibly recently functioning space. 

Meanwhile, Osteria Mazzantini's future is uncertain. The restaurant which once announced its closing remains open, and, according to Stone, has submitted menus to participate in Houston Restaurant Weeks this August. 

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