Introducing Tiny Champions

Nancy's Hustle team bakes up plans for new pizza-focused restaurant

Nancy's Hustle team bakes up plans for new pizza-focused restaurant

Southern Smoke 2019 Nancy's Hustle Jason Vaughn Sean Jensen Julia Doran
Sean Jensen, Julia Doran, and Jason Vaughn are opening a new restaurant. Photo by Emily Jaschke

The team behind Nancy's Hustle will add a new project to their portfolio in 2020. Chef Jason Vaughn, beverage specialist Sean Jensen, and pastry chef Julia Doran released a statement that they will be opening a new restaurant called Tiny Champions.

Located just a couple of blocks away from Nancy's Hustle at 2716 McKinney St, Tiny Champions will open this fall. In a statement, the trio provide a brief description of the restaurant's concept. No, it's not named after the Rockets new small ball lineup:

With a focus on natural fermentation (the tiny champions of flavor), we will offer naturally leavened pizza, a variety of funky fermented vegetable dishes, tasty wine and cocktails. It will be by Tiny Champions, of Tiny Champions and for Tiny Champions.

In an email, Doran adds that the pizzas will be made in a gas deck oven. "We hope to bring a restaurant that is unique to Houston, but of and for it," she writes. 

Nancy's Hustle has been a massive hit since it opened at the end of 2017. The restaurant has earned local and national acclaim, including being named one of Esquire magazine's "best restaurants of the decade" and receiving a shout out in the New York Times from Kate Uptown and Justin Verlander as one of their favorite Houston restaurants. Vaughn earned his first ever James Beard Award semifinalist nomination this week. It ranks number two on CultureMap's list of Houston's top 100 restaurants.

Credit for all that success goes to the restaurant's compelling mix of creative food, a beverage program built around natural wine, and an easy-going vibe. The restaurant's signature Nancy Cakes, corn cakes served with whipped butter and smoked trout roe, have become a sensation, as has the restaurant's burger, which is served on a house made English muffin.     

Given all that acclaim, any new concept from the talented trio ranks as seriously exciting news. Expect more details as the opening draws closer.