Bellaire Burger Bonanza

Historic Houston burger joint cooks up plan for second location in Bellaire

Historic Houston burger joint cooks up plan for new spot in Bellaire

Lankford Grocery sign
Lankford Grocery will open its second location in Bellaire. Photo by Paul Prior

A historic Houston burger joint will soon have a second home. Lankford Grocery & Market, the 85-year old restaurant in the Fourth Ward, has leased a space in Bellaire for a new location.

Lankford owner Paul Prior tells CultureMap that he’s had a second location in mind since the Guy Fieri featured the restaurant on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, but couldn’t move forward until he and his wife Jessica assumed full ownership from his mother Eydie, who retired last year. After considering options in The Heights and other Inner Loop neighborhoods, Prior chose the former Brisket BBQ location in the Bellaire Triangle (5208 Bissonnet St.) for the new restaurant, which will be called Lankford’s.

“It’s a great area,” Prior says. “We love Bellaire. We have a lot of customers that come from that area.”

Prior expects to submit his plans to the City of Bellaire for permitting this week. If all goes according to plan, the restaurant should open in September.

Changes to the space will bring the original location’s rustic, Texas-style decor to the new building. Lankford’s will replace the barbecue restaurant’s serving line with a bar that’s similar to the one at the original location. In addition, an area Prior calls the burger bar will allow diners to watch the restaurant’s cooks prepare their meals. Exterior changes will include a fresh coat of white paint and the addition of Lankford’s signature roll-up garage door.

Notably, the new restaurant will serve the same burgers that have made the original a destination for generations of Houstonians. The choices include everything from a classic cheeseburger to more extravagant creations like the Grim Burger, a bacon cheeseburger that’s enhanced with mac and cheese, jalapeños, and a sunny-side-up egg.

While the current restaurant primarily focuses on lunch, Prior plans to be open for dinner in Bellaire. He’s still figuring out what the dinner menu will include, but one possibility is upgrading the restaurant’s popular specials like beef enchiladas and chicken fried steak to permanent status.

“We’re still formulating what [dinner is] going to look like. We’re meeting with our chef and our suppliers,” Prior says. “We’ll have all the burgers that we have today. That’s our key focus.”

One other big change will be the addition of a full liquor license, which will add cocktails to Lankford’s wine and beer offerings. 

Since the Houston Chronicle first reported the news last week, Prior says he’s heard from customers who live in the Bellaire, Meyerland, and Galleria areas. They’re excited that one of their favorite restaurants is going to be closer to home. Prior plans for Lankford to establish the same kind of legacy in its new home that it has at the original.

“We’ve been in Midtown for 85 years,” he says. “We’re looking to do the same in Bellaire and continue on what we’re doing.”