Patrick Feges and Erin Smith are taking their talents to Spring Branch. The married chefs will open a second location of their restaurant, Feges BBQ, in 2021, Feges tells CultureMap exclusively.
The new Feges BBQ will occupy a 5,000-square-foot, end cap space in Braun Enterprise’s Spring Branch Village development. Like its sibling in Greenway Plaza, the restaurant will serve a full slate of smoked meats (brisket, pork ribs, whole hog, turkey, etc.), plus a wide range of creative vegetable sides such as Moroccan-spiced carrots, elote corn salad, and sweet and spicy Brussels sprouts.
That formula has earned the couple wide acclaim, including a spot on Texas Monthly's list of the state’s top 25 best new barbecue joints and spot 54 on CultureMap’s list of Houston’s top 100 restaurants. The couple's devotion to charitable causes earned them recognition from StarChefs, a national organization dedicated to celebrating up-and-coming culinary talent.
Chef Feges tells CultureMap that he and Smith considered Spring Branch for their first restaurant but couldn’t find the right location. Ultimately, they settled on the Greenway Plaza food court that’s also home to the Rice Box, burger-chan, and Greenway Coffee. With their son Wyatt approaching his first birthday, they resumed their search.
“We love the spot. It’s two miles from where we live,” Feges says “We want to be that neighborhood restaurant in Spring Branch. There’s no barbecue in this area; it needs something like this.”
Dan Braun, president of Braun Enterprises, tells CultureMap that adding Feges has been a key goal for getting the right tenant mix at his 67,000-square-foot shopping center. The project reminds him of when his company kicked off development on 19th Street by transformed the Harold's clothing store into Torchy's and Harold's restaurant. He thinks Long Point is ripe for similar development where new, family-friendly restaurants enhance the mix of mostly Korean and Mexican establishments that already make the area a destination for passionate diners.
"We literally held this end cap for Patrick and Erin because we think the world of them," Braun says. "They live in the neighborhood. They have a great product . . . They’re just really good people."
Towards that goal of serving the neighborhood, Feges BBQ will be open for lunch six days per week and dinner five days per week. In order to meet demand and keep items fresh, the restaurant will use two Oyler rotisserie smokers to prepare separate meats for lunch and dinner.
“We won’t have ribs sitting in a warmer for eight hours,” Feges promises.
Dinner will also offer some non-barbecue options, such as a burger and specials like chicken fried steak that are designed to appeal to area families. Smith will draw upon her time at Camerata to craft the restaurant’s beer and wine lists.
Feges BBQ will join a couple of other restaurants in Spring Branch Village, including Shoot The Moon, a self-serve alcohol and pizza concept from former Underbelly Hospitality partner Kevin Floyd, and a third location of the Slowpokes coffee shop. Kenny & Ziggy’s operates a commercial bakery on the property. The center also includes Soul Tribes Yoga. Andy Aronson of Gulf Stream Properties represented Feges BBQ in the negotiations; Zach Wolf represented Braun.
With a collective resume that includes Brennan's, Plonk, Underbelly, Southern Goods, and Main Kitchen at the J.W. Marriott downtown, diners might wonder if Feges and Smith are opening an upscale restaurant. The couple has slightly different aspirations for their new location.
“There’s two kind of restaurants in this city. There’s big, bold restaurants, and there’s [places like] Paulie’s,” Feges says. “Let’s be like that: here for 30 years, where Wyatt can grow up washing dishes and shit. We hope we’re that kind of place.”