It's about two months past the originally planned opening date for Killen's Steakhouse in the Heights, but while that project has been delayed (perhaps indefinitely) Ronnie Killen has a new concept in the works near his current stomping grounds.
On Wednesday Killen took to Facebook to solicit opinions on a name for a new barbecue and burger place in Pearland, asking fans if they preferred "Killen's triple B, Killen's BBQ or Killen's BBB."
"I can cook barbecue — that's one of the few things I do better than steaks," Killen says.
Now Killen tells CultureMap that Killen's BBB (or "triple B," for barbecue, burgers and beer) is slated to take over the current Killen's Steakhouse location, with the steakhouse moving to a bigger space just a couple of miles down the road, though he's keeping the exact location under wraps — for now.
"I can cook barbecue — that's one of the few things I do better than steaks," says Killen, who notes that his first restaurant was a barbecue joint and that it was barbecue ribs that he cooked at the White House for President George H.W. Bush.
He noted on Twitter that's he's taken a slightly more molecular approach to brisket with good results. He's also cooking a special smoke dinner at the James Beard House in New York later this month. I'm no expert, but the pictures sure look pretty tasty.
"Nobody around here has the complete package: Some places make good fries, some places have good meat but they use canned vegetables," Killen adds. He says he'll bake buns in-house and make burger patties from trimmings from the Wagyu-style and USDA prime steak cuts he serves at his steakhouse.
He's planning a lower price point that will work for locals at lunchtime, plus daily lunch plate specials, and hopes to simply serve until the food runs out every day.
Killen says moving the steakhouse will allow him to serve more customers — he says he turns away more than 100 people per month because the restaurant is booked full — increasing seating by a third to about 150 and adding a proper bar to the restaurant.
As for the Heights location, Killen says he's still in negotiations over rent and parking, so it could be awhile before Killen's coveted steaks are inside city limits. For now, at least, Houston's loss is Pearland's gain.