Agricole Hospitality — the Heights-based restaurant group that snagged the top three honors at this year’s CultureMap Tastemaker Awards — has finally announced its plans for EaDo. Six months after rumors first surfaced of the company’s involvement in the East Village project, partners Morgan Weber and Ryan Pera announced an ambitious plan to open three separate concepts in more than 10,000 square feet of reconverted warehouse space at the corner of St. Emmanuel and Dallas streets.
“We’re glad to be a part of the growth in EaDo,” Pera said in a statement. “This neighborhood is truly rooted in Houston culture—it’s the neighborhood of Old Chinatown, warehouses and railroads, but now it’s become a walkable extension of downtown. It’s a blossoming neighborhood that we want to be a part of.”
The concepts are rooted in East Village, the mixed-use development that’s already home to Chapman & Kirby, a hybrid nightclub and restaurant, and SeaSide Poke. In the coming months, Dallas-based concepts Truck Yard (an expansive patio bar with food trucks) and better burger spot Rodeo Goat will join the mix, along with the Our/Houston vodka distillery.
In addition to representing their first foray outside of the Heights, the new bars and restaurants also feature a promotion for culinary director Vincent Huynh. The chef, who started as a line cook at Revival Market, will be a full partner in all three of the new businesses.
“Vincent has been a great partner for a long time, and we’ve finally made it official,” said Weber. “The three of us have worked together so long that it was a natural extension of Agricole Hospitality to give him a personal stake in the success of our projects.”
Huynh will also serve as the namesake for Vinny’s, a fast-casual pizza-by-the-slice joint. Whereas Coltivare serves its own take on New York-style pizza made with a sourdough crust that’s prepared in a wood-fired oven, Vinny’s will offer a number of styles in a more casual setting. Counter-service and limited seating (30 inside, 20 on the patio) will put the focus on grab-and-go and delivery options.
While Vinny’s will certainly be a welcome addition for neighborhood residents, the heart of the project is its restaurant, Indianola, and companion bar, Miss Carousel. Named for a port where immigrants, including Weber’s family, arrived to Texas in the mid-1800s, Indianola is described as serving “dishes from the American canon that one could comfortably partake of everyday.”
Most intriguing of all, Indianola will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Additionally, the restaurant’s design will trade the rustic aesthetic of Coltivare and Revival Market for something that’s “modern, sleek, and bright,” according to Weber, with large windows that let in lots of natural light.
Miss Carousel will serve as both a “destination bar” and lounge/waiting area for Indianola. Sized at impressive 5,000 square feet, the plush interior will feature living room-style seating with couches, rugs, and a fireplace. On the menu, 25 to 30 house cocktails will include a mix between classics and originals.
"I’ve been thinking a lot about the cocktail movement and where we are,” said Weber. “We all took cocktails from the 19th and 20th centuries and opened up fussy speakeasy-style cocktail bars. With Miss Carousel, we want to move beyond that.
“I realize that the cocktail quality in restaurants and bars nationwide is much higher, but what lies beyond that? What about comfort? What about hospitality . . . This bar is about the guest being comfortable and drinking exactly the way he or she wants.”
Opening three concepts at the same time won’t be easy, but Agricole’s experience operating Revival Market, Coltivare, and Eight Row Flint should help ease the stress. In conjunction with the other bars and restaurants slated for East Village, the Agricole trio looks poised to make EaDothe city’s newest dining and nightlife destination.