Montrose residents won't have to wait too much longer to feast on blue crab beignets, hog wings, and Texas wagyu beef cheeseburgers. Houston's second location of B.B. Lemon will open in the former Pax Americana space on July 8, the restaurant announced.
Changes to the space at 4319 Montrose give it the same look and feel as its sister restaurant on Washington Avenue. That means green plaid wallpaper, checked tablecloths, and, of course, a winged lemon neon sign. The restaurant will seat approximately 75 in its main dining room, 30 in a private dining room, 11 at the bar (an antique that has been untouched by the renovations), and 60 on the patio. Perhaps most impressively, those changes took place less than two months after owner Ben Berg revealed his plans to bring B.B. Lemon to Montrose.
One lesson learned from the first B.B. Lemon is that Houstonians prefer to treat it as more of a restaurant than a bar. Therefore, chef Emily Trusler has expanded the menu with additional seafood dishes, such as snapper crudo, steamed mussels, Mediterranean snapper, and seared scallops with sweet corn purée and chorizo. Of course, all the dishes that earned B.B. Lemon a CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Best New Restaurant nomination — including the beignets and the cheeseburger — are present and accounted for.
Similarly, beverage director Monique Cioffi-Hernandez, a nominee for the Tastemaker Award for Bartender of the Year, has expanded the cocktail menu slightly. Her focus is still on the classics, but using housemade, infused syrups helps ensure each drink gets to customers as quickly as possible.
"I wasn’t necessarily looking to expand B.B. Lemon, but the space was perfect for it,” Berg said in a statement. “B.B. Lemon is meant to be a fun, neighborhood spot with a great ambiance, and this location reminded me of the local spots I grew up with in New York City combined with all the features that Houstonians will love – a beautiful, outdoor patio and upscale comfort food."
This year has been a busy one for Berg's company, Berg Hospitality Group. In addition to opening a second B.B. Lemon, he recently relaunched Memorial-area favorite Carmelo's as B.B. Italia. Later this fall, he'll relaunch legendary Houston restaurant Cafe Annie as The Cafe Annie.