Coffee in the Heights
Houston's best coffee shop teams up with donut guru for spinoff in city's hottest dining neighborhood
Houston's best coffee shop will add a sister concept in the Heights this fall, but it will serve more than lattes and cortados.
David Buehrer and Ecky Prabanto, the duo behind Greenway Coffee and Blacksmith, announced today that they're launching a new venture called Morningstar in the same North Main strip center that will soon be home to Foreign Correspondents, the eagerly anticipated Thai restaurants from Treadsack and chef PJ Stoops. Along with recent arrivals like Johnny's Gold Brick and Southern Goods, the move further cements the Heights' status as Houston's hottest dining neighborhood.
That's right — after years of teasing Houston with pop-ups at places like Revival Market and Mala Sichuan, one of the foremost names in Houston coffee is getting into the donut business.
Morningstar will serve breakfast and lunch with menus overseen by Priscilla Nguyen, just as Blacksmith does; however, that won't be all that's on order. Buehrer has reached into his pre-Greenway past to partner with Sam Phan, of Donald's Donuts in Webster, who is described in a press release as bringing "his jedi level baking skills for an exciting take on donuts and kolaches."
That's right — after years of teasing Houston with pop-ups at places like Revival Market and Mala Sichuan, one of the foremost names in Houston coffee is getting into the donut business. Blacksmith raised Houstonians expectations for what sort of food could be served at a coffee shop with its signature square biscuits and Vietnamese steak and eggs, and Morningstar looks poised to join other high-end donut shops like Glazed and Hugs & Donuts in taking the city's donut possibilities to the proverbial next level with flavors like honey-glazed, yeast-raised donut that utilizes honey harvested in the Heights.
The design brings together Jim Herd of Collaborative Projects, who designed both Blacksmith and the recently opened Rice Box in the Greenway Plaza food court, with his mentor, John Zemanek, a tenured professor at the University of Houston School of Architecture who taught Herd the principles of modernism.
"To be able to bring in John Zemanek to collaborate on the design of David Buehrer’s new Morningstar is a treat beyond measure," Herd said in a statement. "John is 93 years old and as sharp as ever while I, even with all the experience I have gained and the many great projects I have been allowed to design, am still in many ways a student sitting next to Professor Zemanek."
As exciting as Morningstar is, don't expect it to be Buehrer and Prabanto's last move. A team from Blacksmith served coffee at Sunday's preview party for Wired Up, a new record store set to open next to Cutthroat barber shop on Telephone Road. Buerher said that no deal has been struck, but that could change quickly. Allow us to humbly suggest "Claymore" to keep with the pattern of arms and armor established by "Blacksmith" and "Morningstar."