One of Houston's most iconic restaurant families is making plans to come to Midtown. Laurenzo's, the Washington Avenue restaurant known for its prime rib and Tex-Mex that's owned by El Tiempo owners Roland Laurenzo (son of the legendary Ninfa Laurenzo of Ninfa's fame) and his son Domenic, published a post on Craigslist that it's hiring for a new concept called Laurenzo's Bar & Grill.
Slated to open next year in the former Republic Smokehouse/Blackfinn space on Bagby Street, Laurenzo's Bar & Grill seems poised to bring the restaurant's signature dishes to a whole new audience. The original Laurenzo's has always had a bit of a sports vibe thanks to framed memorabilia (jerseys and other autographed items) that adorn its walls, which should make adapting it to Midtown pretty straightforward. Laurenzo's Bar & Grill would also give the neighborhood its first steakhouse-style option since the glitzy Mr. Peeples closed in March.
Reached by phone, Laurenzo's Bar & Grill general manager Matt Elam declined to comment on the specifics of the concept but promised to refer it to the company's marketing rep. CultureMap will update this article when the company releases for more details.
(Update: Domenic Laurenzo tells the Houston Press that he has partnered with Landmark Hospitality Group to open a new Laurenzo's in Midtown that's slated to arrive by the end of January.)
Republic Smokehouse, a barbecue and live music concept from Hearsay Gastropub owners Landmark Houston Hospitality Group, closed quietly in August. When it opened in 2015, Republic seemed poised for success thanks to the presence of pitmaster Cedric Williams, formerly of acclaimed Acres Homes barbecue joint Williams Smokehouse, but it never quite caught on with diners.