Opening a restaurant can be like having a child. First time owners, like first time parents, can struggle with the learning curve of so many new challenges at once. Typically, parents turn to grandparents or close friends for support and advice.
The same can happen with bars and restaurants — novice operators can seek help from veterans to help them along.
Such is the case with Ladybirds. With the bar set to open in the next week or two in the space previously occupied by The Usual, its owner brothers Taylor and Darin Lee have tapped former Underbelly sous chef Lyle Bento and Liberty Station/Cottonwood founder Charles Bishop to serve as operating partners. Bento and Bishop are also partners in Southern Goods, a tavern expected to open in the Heights this spring.
Bishop sees Ladybirds as a laid back neighborhood bar for the ever-growing residents of the area.
"I respect those guys as friends," Bishop tells CultureMap about the Lees. "A lot of people have dreams of opening a bar. We'll help them grow the business."
Bishop sees Ladybirds as a laid back neighborhood bar for the ever-growing residents of the area. Asked about Down the Street, a bar across I-10 that has already become a neighborhood staple, Bishop says he found it packed on a recent Saturday night visit. "There's a lot of opportunity in that area," he notes.
Similar to Boheme, Ladybird will utilize a food truck as a kitchen. Bento is developing a menu of solid bar food. "We'll have a good burger, good wings," Bishop says.
The menu will also include nightly features like steak night and taco night. Calling back to his days working with Joshua Martinez on The Modular, Bento will return to truck life while he trains a permanent staff.
On the beverage side, Bishop is developing a "nice liquor selection" for Ladybirds. As for beer, "we want to focus on Houston craft as much as possible." Since the bar is so close to Buffalo Bayou Brewery, Bishop says he's exploring ways that Ladybirds could serve as the brewery's unofficial taproom.
Down the road, Bishop hopes the partnership with the Lees could prove beneficial with the brothers using their construction experience to help Bento and Bishop on future projects.