On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," Danny Frounfelker joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss Sipple, his shop in Rice Village that sells non-alcoholic wine, beer, and spirits. The conversation begins with Frounfelker sharing the personal journey that led him from working as a beverage director at Houston restaurants to adopting an alcoholic-free lifestyle.
The conversation covers a range of topics, including the different kinds of customers who've been patronizing Sipple, how Frounfelker selected the products he's carry, and the role of CBD and other hemp-infused beverages in a non-alcoholic environment. While this week's episode is focused on a retail environment, Frounfelker notes that bars and restaurants have an important role to play in catering to customers looking for non-alcoholic options for Dry January and beyond.
"This year, so many more restaurants are participating in Dry Janaury [compared to last year], and I think it's really exciting. I've asked them, hey, when it's February, please don't take them off the menu. Maybe you're doing five non-alcoholic cocktails; maybe keep two or three. Promote them." he says.
"I've heard a lot of restaurants and bars that are thinking how do we drum up business? I think non-alcoholic options is a perfect opportunity to do that beyond Dry January."
Prior to the interview, Sandler and co-host Matt Harris discuss the news of the week. Their topics include: chef Austin Waiter leaving Tony's to lead The Marigold Club, a new restaurant from Goodnight Hospitality; Kate McLean returning to Tony's as executive chef and partner; and former The Pass & Provisions chef-owner Terrence Gallivan opening Elro Pizza // Crudo, a new restaurant that will occupy a bungalow in Midtown.
In the restaurants of the week segment, Harris and Sandler discuss their recent meals at Kinokawa, chef Billy Kin's omakase restaurant in The Heights, and Underbelly Burger, chef Chris Shepherd's new, retro-styled burger joint at the Houston Farmers Market.