Montrose bar and restaurant Lowbrow has a new owner. Original owner Omar Afra has sold majority ownership of the concept to Gary Mosley, who's known for the popular Creek Group bars and restaurants. The transaction allows Afra to devote himself full-time to planning and executing the annual Free Press Summer Fest music festival, while also ensuring that Lowbrow is in the hands of an experienced operator who can, hopefully, smooth out some of the concept's well-documented service issues.
Afra provided a statement to CultureMap about the change:
After a banner first year, longtime homeboys and collaborators Gary Mosley of The Creek Group and Omar Afra of Lowbrow have teamed up to bring Montrose restaurant and bar Lowbrow to a whole new level of awesome-sauce. The constant growth growth and expansion of Lowbrow has created an opportunity to bring in time-tested operators to tighten up and polish service as Afra becomes more immersed in the year round job of producing FPSF. Big plans are in store with everything from menu to drink selection. Expect the same sweet vibes and triglyceride inducing dishes Lowbrow has always offered but with tighter service, more options, and the super trill patio the Creek Group is known for. Mosley and Afra and long time friends and are both bald. Afra is 5 foot 9.5 and Gary is 6 foot 7.5."
The good news for fans of the place is that it won't change much: the name and decor will remain. Chef Jason Kerr will continue to serve a surprisingly good chicken fried and his signature Cheetos-topped mac and cheese. The patio will remain a pleasant place to spend an evening; Afra even hints that it could expand if the restaurant could secure additional parking.
The move also marks the Creek Group's first verified move into properties south of Buffalo Bayou. Earlier this week, Eater Houston reported that the company is also pursuing a liquor license for the former Daily Review Cafe space near Allen Parkway and Dunlavy. Mosley was not available for comment.
Meanwhile, Afra's plans to open a bar and restaurant with Moon Tower Inn/Voodoo Queen owner Brandon Young are moving forward. The project, which will not be called Brandon and Omar's House of Giggles (but should be), is on track to open in 2015.
Afra will maintain a small interest in Lowbrow; hopefully there's another music video in the future.