New name

Ruggles Green gets a new name as new owners move past controversy

Ruggles Green gets a new name as new owners move past controversy

Bellagreen Vintage Market rendering
A rendering of the Village Marketplace location of Bellagreen, which will serve as a model for the company's plans to expand to Dallas in 2018. Courtesy image
Houston, Ruggles Green, City Centre, August 2017
All five Ruggles Green locations will be rebranded as Bellagreen by the end of the year. Courtesy of Bellagreen/Facebook
Bruce Molzan Corner Table chef with squash blossoms June 2014
In April, Texas Parks & Wildlife alleged that former owner Bruce Molzan purchased and sold illegal finfish. Corner Table/Facebook
Houston, Bellagreen restaurant logo, August 2017
Ruggles Green has rebranded itself as Bellagreen. Courtesy of Bellagreen/Facebook
Bellagreen Vintage Market rendering
Houston, Ruggles Green, City Centre, August 2017
Bruce Molzan Corner Table chef with squash blossoms June 2014
Houston, Bellagreen restaurant logo, August 2017

Months after its former owner was implicated in an illegal seafood operation, local restaurant chain Ruggles Green has rebranded itself as Bellagreen.

In April, Texas Parks & Wildlife alleged that former owner Bruce Molzan purchased and sold illegal finfish off-menu at Ruggles Green and his other restaurant, Ruggles Black. Molzan may have profited more than $400,000.

A two-year investigation revealed that the illegal network was in operation since at least 2013 and, according to game wardens, could be the largest of its kind in Texas history.

"One of the things we believe as a company is to always do the right thing, we look at some of the history and we want people to know we aren’t affiliated with that," Bellagreen CEO Jason Morgan told CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler. "We bought 100-percent of (Molzan's) interest out last October. Other than licensing the (Ruggles) name, he has no interest in what we are doing. Now, he will have no involvement."

The chain's five existing locations — River Oaks, The Woodlands, City Centre, Sugar Land, and the Heights — will be rebranded as Bellagreen by the end of the year. Menus, staff uniforms, and the website already have the new name. 

Click the video below for more details, and head to ABC13.com for the full story.