The pitmaster-owner of one of Houston's best barbecue joints will soon unveil a new concept devoted to comfort food. Gatlin's BBQ owner Greg Gatlin will open Gatlin's Fins & Feathers in Independence Heights next month.
Located in a former Mexican restaurant at 302 W. Crosstimbers St., Gatlin's Fins & Feathers will feature fried chicken, Gulf Coast seafood, and other comfort fare. Expect dishes such as gumbo, char-grilled oysters, and blackened fish to join buckets of fried chicken on the menu. The restaurant will be open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch.
“It’s a neighborhood place, and we wanted it to feel that way: rustic, comfortable, and historic,” Gatlin said in a statement. “It’s part of Independence Heights, and we’re embracing that. I hope people enjoy really good food in a really good atmosphere –– a place that will connect them to a childhood experience or even an elevation of that childhood memory, as in, ‘This is so damn good.’”
Gatlin and executive chef Michelle Wallace spoke about the concept on a June 2021 episode of CultureMap's "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Wallace noted that the restaurant will give a permanent home to the fried chicken Gatlin's began serving after Hurricane Harvey as well as specials such as her signature seafood gumbo.
"It's not going to be your stuffy seafood place," Wallace said during the interview. "It's going to be somewhere fun. Come grab a cocktail, maybe some chicken, some seafood, a fish sandwich. It's going to be amazing."
Craig Schuster, lead architect for H3D Hospitality Group, designed the 3,000-square-foot space. It is expected to seat approximately 80 people.
A standout football player at both St. Thomas High School and Rice University, Greg Gatlin opened Gatlin's BBQ in 2010. It moved to its current location on Ella Boulevard. in 2015. Known for its well-executed brisket and ribs, Creole-inspired sides like dirty rice, and Wallace's creative sandwiches, the restaurant earned honorable mention status on Texas Monthly's 2021 list of the state's 50 best barbecue joints.
Gatlin's has been prominently featured in a number of TV shows, including Netflix's High on the Hog documentary series and the current season of Top Chef, in which Gatlin served as guest judge for the brisket challenge. Wallace is a contestant on the current season of Food Network's BBQ Brawl cooking competition show.