introducing the marigold club

Power Houston hospitality group taps fine dining chef for new Montrose restaurant

Hot hospitality group taps fine dining chef for new Montrose eatery

Austin Waiters Tony's Tony Vallone
Austin Waiter will lead The Marigold Club. Photo by Emily Jaschke

One of Houston's most prominent restaurant groups has revealed its latest project. Goodnight Hospitality will open The Marigold Club in the former Goodnight Charlie's space.

To bring The Marigold Club to life, Goodnight partners Bailey and Peter McCarthy recruited Tony's chef Austin Waiter to be the new restaurant's executive chef and partner. Details are light, but Waiter's menu will focus on modern continental cuisine paired with Goodnight's signature flair for design and first-rate beverage offerings.

"I'm thrilled to be joining forces with the Goodnight Hospitality team,” Waiter said in a statement. "When I first heard about The Marigold Club, I was hooked. I've been searching for a place that is inventive, hip, and exciting with a talented team to learn from. The team and I are aligned in cultivating a dining experience that is built to transport our customers. I love how much thought and detail the Goodnight team puts into their concepts. I can’t wait to get started.”  

The Marigold Club will join tasting menu restaurant March, casual Rosie Cannonball, and Montrose Cheese & Wine at the Goodnight Hospitality complex on Westheimer. Goodnight chef-partner Felipe Riccio sees Waiter as an ideal fit for the new restaurant, which will draw upon a culinary philosophy that dominated post war America but has since fallen out of fashion. 

"The goal with The Marigold Club is to tap into the wealth of variety that modern continental cuisine will afford us, while still keeping our eye on a foundation," Riccio said. "The menu will take cues from a French and American era of cooking that, as young chefs, Austin and I didn’t get to personally execute in a kitchen but still made up a big part of our culinary training. Modernizing that style of cooking with our own take will be exciting."

Those who have long memories of the Houston culinary scene will recall that the McCarthys once planned to open a restaurant with former Tony's chef Grant Gordon, but his unexpected death meant those plans never came to fruition. The Marigold Club isn't intended to replace The Edmont, but the connection is worth noting.  

"Grant Gordon was singular,” Bailey McCarthy said. "It would be impossible to recreate his vision without him, and we would never try. That said, Pete and I hold his memory close in everything we do. It is meaningful to us that Grant and Austin worked together, albeit briefly, and we hope we all make him proud with The Marigold Club.”

Waiter became Tony's chef de cuisine in 2017 at the age of 26. He earned raves for his ability to balance the restaurant's classic dishes with his own flair. Starting at a new concept without any expectations for specific dishes means the sky's the limit for the talented chef.

"I’m thrilled to partner with Austin on The Marigold Club," Riccio added. "His command of an institution like Tony’s has always inspired me. I think the freedom that this concept will provide him will really showcase his talents.”