The Roastery is ready to step up. The cafe, a collaboration between four New York-based chefs, has launched its flagship location at H-E-B's massive Briargrove location (5895 San Felipe St.).
Unlike the grab-and-go locations in Bellaire and The Heights, this flagship location of The Roastery is a full service restaurant with a more complete food menu, wine, beer, cocktails, and, of course coffee. Not only can people watch baristas pull espresso shots, they can see coffee expert Jennifer Stone and her team utilize the location's Giesen coffee roaster to roast the beans that power the cafe's brews.
An on-site roasting operation is only one of the changes made to the space, which previously housed Table 57, the store's restaurant that closed in early 2018. The massive, 7,600-square-foot restaurant also includes a range of seating options, a dog-friendly patio, and a kids play area.
On the menu, chef Jason Giagrande — one of the "Four Js" along with Jonathan Waxman, Jimmy Bradley, and Joey Campanaro — developed an expanded menu with a range of options available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Developed with culinary director Matt Johnson and executive chef Kent Domas (Alice Blue, Down House), options include large plates like fish and chips, small plates like pork belly donut sliders, salads, pizza, and pasta. Giangrade tells CultureMap that the menu will rotate seasonally, so expect a spring pasta like gnocchi with peas, asparagus, and fava beans to change over time.
An upgraded beverage program also sets the flagship store apart from its siblings. In addition to eight craft beer taps, look for wines by-the-glass or bottle (most under $40 per bottle) as well as a selection of classic and coffee-infused cocktails ($9-$12).
While the cafe's big name owners from New York give The Roastery celebrity cred, Domas isn't the only talented local that's working at the restaurant. Pastry chef Sarah Schnitzer had well-regarded stints at Pax Americana and Oxbow 7, while assistant manager Jonathan Elkins is an industry vet whose worked at cafes such as Retrospect Coffee and Tea & Victory.
Three locations since October has The Roastery off to a fast start, and that pace won't slow down any time soon. Giagrade confirms he expects the same size cafe that exists in the Heights and Bellaire to be included in the new H-E-B locations slated for Washington Avenue and Upper Kirby. Smaller, kiosk locations could be retrofitted into existing H-E-B outposts (Montrose is a possibility) and will be included in the upcoming Meyerland store.
The Roastery is open Monday through Friday 7 am - 9 pm, Saturday 8 am - 10 pm, and Sunday 8 am - 9 pm.