introducing guard and grace
New guard steakhouse graces downtown's Allen Center with summer 2019 opening
Over the past few years, Houston's seemingly limitless appetite for USDA Prime beef has manifested itself in a number of new steakhouses — B&B Butchers, a second location of Pappas Bros., Steak 48, Killen's STQ, Roka Akor, Doris Metropolitan, and Mastro's — have all offered Houstonians new riffs on the classic genre.
Now, one of Denver's most-prolific restaurateurs wants to throw his hat into the ring. Chef Troy Guard, whose TAG Restaurant Group operates eight different restaurant concepts at 11 locations in the Denver area, announced March 20 that he's bringing his Guard and Grace steakhouse to downtown's Allen Center development. Slated to open in the summer of 2019, Guard and Grace will occupy a 13,000-square-foot, bi-level space at One Allen Center, that will include both private event space and two outdoor patios.
“We chose to bring Guard and Grace to Houston because, similarly to Denver when we opened the first location, the city has this passion and energy that’s just contagious — we’re really excited to become a part of that,” Guard said in a statement. “The relationship we have with Brookfield continues to be so successful and collaborative that it was a natural fit when we made the decision to open up outside of Denver.”
Guard's resume began in San Diego and includes eight years working for superstar Hawaiian chef Roy Yamaguchi, time as the executive chef at TAO in New York, and a stint as the chef de cuisine at Doc Cheng's restaurant at The Raffles Hotel in Singapore. His signature Pacific Rim-style is reflected on Guard and Grace's menu in dishes like tuna sashimi (with jalapeno, ponzu, and black lava salt) and salmon tataki (with crispy capers, radish, cucumber, seven spice, and yuzu tamari sauce). Of course, the restaurant serves a full range of Prime beef, as well as steakhouse classics like shrimp cocktail, raw oysters, and a wedge salad.
The addition of Guard and Grace is only the latest component of developer Brookfield Properties' $48.5 million renovation of the Allen Center from its '70s roots into a modern mixed-use development. In addition to bringing a new restaurant to the project, the transformation has also included the creation of a one-acre, tree-lined lawn, complete with an outdoor performance and event venue. Brookfield is also Guard's landlord for the Denver location of Guard and Grace, and the company is excited about introducing the chef to Houstonians.
“Chef Guard had many choices on where to expand the Guard and Grace brand, so we’re thrilled that he chose the newly reimagined Allen Center as home to his first out-of- state concept,” said Brookfield executive Travis Overall. “The decision to bring Guard and Grace to Allen Center speaks to the unprecedented growth and change seen on this side of downtown and at Allen Center, and perfectly aligns with Brookfield’s focus on placemaking. We are excited to embark on this partnership and bring this new upscale, signature dining experience to our tenants and the Houston community.”