every night is steak night
Kristen Powell is changing things up at the Barking Pig, her bar and restaurant in Lazybrook/Timbergrove. After seven years in business, she’s rebranding to a new concept focused on steak and whiskey.
Beginning in September, the space at 2307 Ella Blvd. will be known as Ribeye & Rye: Texas Bar & Grill. As its name implies, the new restaurant will focus on the hand cut steaks Powell has been serving Houstonians for years in a casual, family-friendly environment.
As she notes, the area around the Barking Pig has changed considerably since she opened in 2015. Once a relatively quiet part of town with a few nearby legacy restaurants, the area has exploded in recent years. Nearby 19th and 20th streets have become a thriving nightlife district, and 18th street has added several restaurants. The time had come to switch things up in a way that would compel diners to take a fresh look.
“I was young when I started this [business],” Powell explains. “Now, I’m almost 40. There really aren’t many places for people my age to have a great meal and converse without feeling pressured to leave at restaurants or feeling like I’m babysitting kids at a bar on 20th Street.”
Enter Ribeye & Rye. The new restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner with a menu that blends steakhouse classics and Southern-inspired dishes. At dinner, the offerings will include starters such as buttermilk biscuits, deviled eggs, and a whole fried onion that’s highly reminiscent of another casual steak restaurant. Entree choices include fried chicken, personal pizzas, and six grilled items that include filet mignon, ribeye, and pork loin. Over time, Powell plans to add business lunch specials and a revamped brunch menu.
At a time when luxury steakhouses might charge $60 or more for an entree, Powell’s use of USDA Choice beef allows her to keep prices at a more economical level. Expect to pay between $25 and $30 for a steak at Ribeye & Rye.
Along with the new menu comes a new design. Ribeye & Rye has a fresh coat of black paint on its exterior. Inside, diners will find a stylish new bar fully stocked with ryes and other whiskeys.
Until the change becomes official, diners can get a preview of the new restaurant by sampling its Houston Restaurant Weeks menu. The three-course, $39 offering includes entrees that will be available at Ribeye & Rye such as chicken fried chicken, almond-crusted cod, and 6-ounce filet with mashed potatoes.
“The Heights [and its nearby neighborhoods] has evolved and grown,” Powell says. “Time to glow up.”