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T'afia is gone for good — Monica Pope reveals the name and concept of replacement restaurant

t'afia, exterior, night
Look for a new name on the building: T'afia is transforming into Sparrow Bar + Cookshop. Photo by Julie Soefer/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau

Monica Pope left foodies guessing with vague references to a "transformation" at t'afia, Pope's signature restaurant for the past 10 years. But the extent of the change is becoming clearer.

With a reopening scheduled for Tuesday, now Pope is revealing that she's leaving her old concept behind — name included — and starting over with Sparrow Bar + Cookshop, a concept she describes as "back-to-basics."

“At Sparrow, I am going to be cooking the things I would make at home for my family and friends — fresh, unpretentious and full of flavor. I want people to stop by without a reason or reservation, but we’ll certainly accommodate that too,” Pope said in a statement.

 “At Sparrow, I am going to be cooking the things I would make at home for my family and friends — fresh, unpretentious and full of flavor.  

Unlike t'afia, Sparrow will be open for lunch from Tuesday through Friday with Saturday brunch, in addition to dinner service Tuesday through Saturday and bar hours that last until midnight each day that the restaurant is open.

"We could take this spot to blow a bunch of smoke, or tell you about how we're all about 'this and that', but we respect you more than that. And, frankly, you should probably decide these things on your own. For now, what we'll tell you is that you can expect good food, good drink, and good company, and that we really hope that you enjoy it. This is our home, and we'd like to see your face," the restaurant's new website reads.

Fans can expect a brand new interior look in addition to the new name and menu. Jur and Becki van der Oord of InstallationsAntiques designed and installed a "soft industrial scheme," which includes a large new bar situated near the entrance made of reclaimed oak wood constructed from a former grain bin wrapped in perforated metal, as well as tables that include wheels from old farming equipment, both part of an "overt nod" to Sparrow's farm-to-table philosophy.

The makeover includes everything from server uniforms (distressed welding aprons and blue suede boots) and bathroom details (emery boards and pocket combs) to the patio, which has expanded seating and added new fixtures.

Are you excited to see what Pope has in store at Sparrow? Will you miss t'afia?

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