a federal case
Whiskey-fueled Washington Avenue restaurant drafts Memorial for new location
Memorial-area diners will have a new, whiskey-fueled restaurant to visit in 2020. Federal Grill is coming to Hedwig Village, owner Matt Brice tells CultureMap.
Scheduled to open in the spring, the new Federal Grill will occupy approximately 7,000 square feet in the first floor of the Hedwig Place office building at 8731 Katy Fwy. Brice says he considered various options for a second location but held out for something that's both highly visible and close to where he lives.
“We’ve been looking for four or five years now. I couldn’t find the right location,” he says. “I’ve looked for restaurants in the Woodlands, everywhere, but I held out because it’s where we want to be.”
Federal Grill fans will be pleased to know that the locations at both restaurants will be identical. The restaurant has succeeded by providing upscale comfort food such as crab cakes, cheeseburger egg rolls, steaks, salads, and more. While the restaurant doesn’t have a named chef, Brice notes his crew makes everything from scratch, even the restaurant’s desserts.
Having more space will allow Brice to build a larger bar that will display more of the restaurant’s extensive whiskey selections. He estimates diners will be able to see approximately 600 different bottles out of the 1,000 or so he intends to feature.
As with the food, the new restaurant will look much like the original on Shepherd Drive with lots of wood throughout the dining room. Two private rooms, one that seats 20 and another that seats 45, will provide venues for the restaurant’s popular whiskey dinners.
“It’s going to be an open-kitchen concept, so you can see the cooks in action,” Brice says. Everything is brand new. Basically, I’ll be broke for the next 10 years.”
Jokes aside, Brice realizes how fortunate he’s been during the six years since he took over the Branch Water Tavern space from chef David Grossman and transformed it into Federal Grill. Opening a second location prompts the obvious question: will there be a third?
“I don’t know. If God blesses us, and if the door opens easy. This location, that’s what happened,” Brice says. “I was approached by the owner. He said, ‘Matt, we want Federal in there.’
“I’ve had to work hard for other things, but this came easy. The money came easily. If it were to happen again, then we’ll do it.”