To help reach its goal of raising $275,000 via the NextSeed crowdfunding platform, Cherry Block Craft Butcher and Kitchen, a casual steakhouse coming to Garden Oaks' Stomping Grounds development, will reward anyone who invests at least $1,000 with free burgers for life. That's one burger per week for each investor for as long as the restaurant is open.
The Cherry Block burger is no ordinary specimen. Developed by proprietor Felix Florez, it features a blend of ribeye and tenderloin from Florez's Texas beef purveyor Falcon Lake Farms that's ground with a little chuck and some extra fat for juiciness. Formed into 6-ounce patties and seared on a griddle, the burger gets topped with Havarti and cheddar cream mac sauce, red wine demi-glace, American cheese, Duke's mayo, lettuce, and tomato.
Houston Chronicle critic Alison Cook awarded the burger an A-plus in her popular Burger Friday column. With a retail price of $14, an investor could make back the $1,000 in about 16 months while also earning a 1.45 return on their money that will be paid out over a 48-month term.
The burger's ranch-to-table pedigree is emblematic of Cherry Block's approach of making pastured Texas beef more accessible to diners. Originally launched at Bravery Chef Hall, Florez left downtown to establish a retail butcher shop in Katy earlier this year. The Garden Oaks restaurant will expand on what Cherry Block offered at Bravery with an wider array of dishes made with Texas-raised meats as well as a beverage program curated by Florez, who once worked as a sommelier at Brennan’s of Houston.
“Cherry Block is a restaurant from the heart and a way of life,” Florez said in a statement. “Our original location downtown allowed us to support small Texas producers and operate a scratch kitchen, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive making the decision to move into a tight-knit community like Garden Oaks was an easy one. After the impact of Covid had on our downtown location, we accelerated our plan for the permanent brick and mortar location we’d always dreamed of.”
Florez is working with Houston's Gin Design Group on the restaurant's interior, renderings of which are displayed above. Plans include a retail grab-and-go area, a range of seating options, and a covered patio that looks out onto the Stomping Ground expansive green space.
As of the morning of Tuesday, July 20, Cherry Block had raised $241,500 towards its $275,000 goal. The campaign ends on July 22, meaning time is of the essence. Reaching the goal will allow the restaurant to being construction with an eye on opening this winter — just in time for its signature gumbo (and some free burgers) to keep Houstonians warm.