On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," bartenders Terry Williams and Alex Negranza join CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss Better Luck Tomorrow, the Heights bar opened by Anvil owner Bobby Heugel and Oxheart chef Justin Yu. Williams, who serves as the bar's operations manager, and Negraza, BLT's bar manager, begin the interview by explaining the paths that brought them to Anvil and how Heugel approached them about working at BLT.
The conversation continues with each man sharing what it's like to work with Heugel, how BLT's patrons are using the bar, and whether it's a restaurant. Given their acclaim — Williams has earned Bartender of the Year awards from both the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards and the My Table magazine Houston Culinary Awards, while Negranza is an Eater Young Gun — it seemed reasonable to ask if either planned on opening his own bar someday. While Negranza says it's something he'd like to do, Williams isn't so sure it's for him.
"I really enjoy being Robin," Williams says. "I like working for Bobby and now working for Justin. They take care of their staff like I've never seen anyone take care of their staff, myself included. It builds great teams. It builds great teamwork. I just love being a part of this. For the foreseeable future, I don't have any interest in opening up anything new, solo."
Prior to the interview, Sandler and L'Olivier owner Mary Clarkson discuss the news of the week. They begin by sharing some opinions about Alison Cook's list of Houston's top 100 restaurants, with Clarkson giving a candid response about how it feels to be left off.
"Do I think it's important for us? I'd be lying if I told you we wouldn't love to be on her top 100, but we've got to focus on our day-to-day operations and where we go from here," Clarkson says. "I try not to spend too much energy thinking about it, because if you're not on it you don't want to dwell on it. There are a lot of great restaurants that aren't on it as well."
They move on to discuss the recent closings Local Pour, Little Bigs, and Amazón Grill, which has become Amazón Grill on the Go, a delivery-only concept that operates within a five-mile radius of Churrascos River Oaks. In the Restaurants of the Week segment, Clarkson shares her first impressions of One Fifth Romance Languages as someone who both owns a French restaurant and has traveled extensively in Europe, and the duo express their excitement about the recent Feges BBQ pop-up at Camerata.