J. Alexander's returns
J. Alexander's Holdings, the Nashville-based restaurant group behind J. Alexander's and other, similar restaurant brands, announced this week that the company will be returning to Houston with a new location in Uptown Park.
Slated to open in the fall, the restaurant will occupy the former Anejo space at 1180 Uptown Park Blvd. Claiming additional space from a former spa location will allow J. Alexander's to transform the approximately 4,500-square-foot restaurant into an 8,000-square-foot space that will seat about 200 people. Previously, the company operated a J. Alexander's location in the Westchase area that closed in 2017.
“We're pleased to announce plans for our newest J. Alexander’s/Grill restaurant,” president and CEO Lonnie J. Stout II said in a statement. “The signing of this lease culminates months of extensive research to identify a premier site in Houston."
While J. Alexander's Holdings has not specified which of its brands will be opening in Uptown Park, they're all relatively similar to Hillstone Restaurant Group's popular Houston's chain. Whether the restaurant winds up being a J. Alexander's or a Redlands Grill or a Stoney River, diners can expect a menu built around a wood-fired menu of steaks and chops alongside entree salads, sandwiches, and seafood. If nothing else, Houston is gaining another option for prime rib, which is never a bad thing.
Adding J. Alexander's only furthers the transformation of dining options at Uptown Park. Flower Child, a healthy-eating concept from Phoenix-based Fox Restaurant Concepts, opened last fall. Uptown Sushi just reopened after a thorough interior makeover, and California-based sandwich shop Mendocino Farms will open in the coming months. More changes are certainly coming, as a new occupant for the former Champp's space has yet to be revealed.
The former Anejo space has a somewhat controversial history. Anejo Uptown Park LLC sued its landlords, AmREIT Uptown Park LP and Edens Limited Partnership, when they would not consent to an assignment that would have allowed The Original Ninfa's on Navigation to sublease the property.
That lawsuit appears to have been settled, according to documents filed with the Harris County District Clerk's office, and is scheduled to be dismissed on April 1 "for want of prosecution," according to an online records search. A representative for Uptown Park declined CultureMap's request to comment on the terms of the settlement.