Charging into midtown

3 hot restaurants energize Houston's innovative new mixed-use development

3 hot restaurants energize Houston's innovative mixed-use development

The Ion Midtown Late August
Late August is named for the Sears catalog. Courtesy of Late August
The Ion Midtown Stuff'd Wings
STUFF'd Wings will have a permanent home.
The Ion Common Bond
Common Bond will offer grab-and-go items. Courtesy of Common Bond
Rice University The Ion Midtown innovation
The Ion will open this summer. Photo courtesy of Rice Management Company
The Ion Midtown Late August
The Ion Midtown Stuff'd Wings
The Ion Common Bond
Rice University The Ion Midtown innovation

The Ion revealed its first three restaurants tenants. When it opens this summer, Midtown's innovation-focused mixed-use development will be home to Late August, Common Bond, and STUFF'd Wings.

Currently under construction at the site of the former Sears at Main and Wheeler, The Ion serves as the anchor for an innovation district led by Rice University. The 288,000-square-foot building will host a variety of uses, including co-working spaces, maker resources, classrooms, event spaces, and eateries. 

First announced last week, Late August will be a new project from Lucille's Hospitality Group chef-owner Chris Williams and Dawn Burrell, the Olympian-turned-chef who earned a James Beard Award semifinalist nomination for her work at Kulture and will be competing on the new season of Top Chef. In homage to the building's history as a Sears department store, the restaurant's name references the time of year when Sears mailed its famous catalog.

Burrell's menu will "explore the soul of Afro-Asian flavors" with lunch, brunch, and dinner items. She will preview some of the dishes and ideas in a series of pop-ups named for her Pivot meal kit delivery service. 

"Our goal with Late August is to honor the origins of the property, while also tapping into its future," Williams said in a statement. "Under chef Dawn’s leadership, I’m confident that the food will not only match the ethos of its surroundings, but also bring a fresh take to Houston’s immensely talented culinary scene."

Common Bond On-the-Go Ion will repurpose the cafe's new drive-thru format for the complex. Expect all of its signature croissants, cookies, and pastries, along with breakfast dishes, cold sandwiches, and salads. The cafe will offer both indoor and outdoor seating.

STUFF'd Wings will provide a brick and mortar home to the Third Ward-based food truck in a 2,400-square-space that's adjacent to The Ion. As its name implies, the restaurant's wings are stuffed with options that include three different kinds of boudin and mac and cheese. The restaurant will allow proprietors Prisoria and Jarrod Rector to expand their with smoked wings, milkshakes, and other new creations.  

“The new restaurants coming to The Ion and District showcase Houston’s deep culinary culture and local flare that Houstonians identify and connect with," added Rice Management Company's Sam Dike.