A restaurant pajama party: Monica Pope has a lot to celebrate at Gospel Brunch for Dinner benefit
Monica Pope has recently had a lot of reasons for celebration. The longtime Houston chef commemorated her 50th birthday, her 20th year in the restaurant business and the official grand opening of her latest venture, Sparrow Bar + Cookshop, with an all-in-one party at her Midtown eatery.
Pope came up with the idea of a "Gospel Brunch for Dinner," serving such brunch delicacies as shrimp 'n grits, sausage on a stick, buttermilk biscuits with red onion gravy and challah bread pudding French toast at the nighttime event and asked guests to dress in pajamas and smoking jackets or "cocktail cool."
Proceeds from the evening went to Making It Better, a Houston nonprofit that provides literacy and life skills programs for youngsters. Making It Better CEO and Houston City Council member Jerry Davis welcomed the crowd and noted that he and Pope have gotten to know each other well, since his family owns the Breakfast Klub next door.
The Soulfruit gospel trio sang "Happy Birthday" to Pope, who noted that the name of her new restaurant comes from a classic gospel song, "His Eye is on the Sparrow." But, Pope wryly added, a more appropriate song on such a milestone birthday might be the Alicia Keys hit, "This Girl is On Fire."
Joining in the triple celebration were Josie Edwards, Karen Franco, Grant and Alison Gremillion, Brittain and Michael Glover, Sarah and Scott Van Beck, Jeff and Laurie Schmid, Carol Bright Wiggins, Chris Suckow, Karen Willrodt, Kimberly Tutor, Beth and Carl Sorensen, and Pope's daughter, Lili.