As of Monday, the Midtown and Heights locations of Christian's Tailgate have new owners, but the sports bar's classic hamburgers aren't going anywhere.
Mazen Baltagi tells CultureMap that he and his partners on the new ownership team — Chris Alan and Zack Truesdell, whose interests also include Midtown bar Saint Dane's and Rice Village tapas restaurant Mi Luna — are committed to the burgers. He says Christian's owner Steve Christian sold them the two locations to focus on an invention: The table-leveling system Table Jacks.
The new owners recognize that Christian's is "a staple in the city. We're not taking away anything," Baltagi says. "We're just going to add to it."
For this Houston burger institution, change might be a very good thing.
Starting in two weeks or so, expect to see tacos, salads and wraps on the menu. The new owners think it will help them broaden Christian's Tailgate's appeal, especially during lunchtime, when an office of men and women might not all want burgers or fried seafood.
The biggest change will be the addition of raw and cooked oysters. Christian's new owners have a relationship with Prestige Oysters that Baltagi says will allow them to get fresh specimens "sooner than the distributors." To attract customers and spread awareness of the new offering, they'll sell raw oysters for 50 cents each during happy hour on Friday.
As the temps begin to cool and oysters begin to plump up, it'll be pretty great to celebrate the end of the work week with $6 per dozen oysters and a few cold beers.
Changes to the interior will include the addition of new TVs and a general tidying up. Since Christian has been focused on his invention, he hasn't had the ability to pay attention to the locations in the same way he used to in the past.
"It needs some love," Baltagi says.
Some of the promotions that have been successful at Saint Dane's are also coming to Christian's. They include a 20 percent "pedal-in" discount on food for those who ride a bicycle there, the addition of a new menu of $3 shots and a comedy night at White Oak.
If the changes are successful, Baltagi hints that the group plans to open additional locations. For this Houston burger institution, change might be a very good thing.