Ben Berg in The Heights

Houston's hottest restaurateur reveals plans for 2 exciting new concepts in The Heights

Houston's hottest restaurateur reveals 2 new Heights concepts

Benjamin Berg Neil Martin, Michael Sperandio
Benjamin Berg, Neil Martin, and Michael Sperandio. Courtesy of Berg Hospitality

One of Houston’s most prolific restaurant groups has set its sights on The Heights. Berg Hospitality, the company behind restaurants such as B&B Butchers and The Annie Café & Bar, has partnered with local real estate development firm Ancorian to open two new concepts in the neighborhood.

The first will be Trattoria Sofia, which will serve rustic Italian food with a romantic atmosphere. The second, still-unnamed concept will open at The Docks at Timbergrove, a new mixed-use development created out of a 50,000-square-foot warehouse at 2505 West 11th St in the Heights-adjacent neighborhood of Timbergrove.

“To have two outposts in one of Houston’s most dynamic and fastest growing neighborhoods is an incredible opportunity for us,” Berg Hospitality founder Benjamin Berg said in a statement. “I have really fallen in love with the area, and I am excited to partner with Ancorian to create a new, lively dining and social scene for not only Timbergrove/Heights residents, but all Houstonians.”

Trattoria Sofia will be located at 911 W 11th St., which housed Presidio until a fire shuttered the restaurant. Berg tells CultureMap that Sofia will be a more Tuscan-influenced restaurant than B.B. Italia, his Italian-American restaurant in the Energy Corridor, but it will still utilize fresh pasta.

In terms of design, the space will receive an all-new interior. Plans include relocating the bar to give the dining room a more distinct feel. Berg also envisions the restaurant’s patio as a destination.

“We’re bringing the ideas of pergolas and outdoor Italian dining,” Berg says. “The goal is to create a little more romantic, really incredible outdoor dining experience.”

The restaurant at The Docks at Timebergrove will occupy a spacious 8,000 square feet of the converted warehouse, which will also house co-working, retail, and other hospitality concepts. Berg says the restaurant will be a wood-fired steakhouse with grills in the middle of the dining room. Part of the menu's inspiration comes from the Firedoor, a restaurant in Sydney, Australia that utilizes live fire and was featured in Netflix's acclaimed documentary series Chef's Table: BBQ.

"We’re going for a younger crowd, a little louder," Berg says. "From a steak standpoint, we’ll have a lot of steak options, but everything is wood-fired grill."

Berg also notes that the restaurant won't use dry-aged beef, which will allow it to offer a lower price point compared to B&B Butchers. Look for a January 2022 opening.

“We chose Ben for both projects based on his outstanding local and national reputation in the hospitality industry,” Ancorian partner Neil Martin stated. “We really trust his incredible eye for design and creative culinary expertise to transform both projects into beautiful, unique spaces and dining experiences that Houstonians will view as community staples for years to come.”

Both restaurants will join a street that has become a restaurant row for the area. Diners have an array of choices, including Southern restaurant Field & Tides, Dish Society, margarita and taco slinger Eight Row Flint, and sushi hand roll concept Hando. Later this year, Loro, an Asian-inspired smokehouse from James Beard Award winners Tyson Cole (Uchi) and Aaron Franklin (Franklin Barbecue) will open next to Trattoria Sofia at 1001 W. 11th St.