High-Tech Restaurant Trend

Houston restaurants jump into hot technology trend: Twins Peaks & fine dining spots want you to plug in

Restaurants jump into hot technology trend — with Twin Peaks all in

Waitresses at Twin Peaks restaurant
Twin Peaks isn't just about half-naked women serving you burgers and beer. It turns out the breastaurant cares about the environment too. Twin Peaks/Facebook
Electric car charging stations are popping up at all sorts of restaurants in Houston. Photo by Kevin McCauley
You can charge up that Chevy Volt while enjoying a good — or bad — meal in Houston. Photo by Kevin McCauley
Waitresses at Twin Peaks restaurant

The City of Houston has several, at libraries and other facilities. You’ll also find them at car dealerships and increasingly at grocery stores like Kroger (Disco Kroger has one) and Whole Foods, because, well of course, they would have them.

And now, more and more you’ll find them at area restaurants.

Cracker Barrels and Twin Peaks have them at several national locations including some in Houston. (Twin Peaks? Really? Go figure.)

No, we’re not talking about some new artisanal treat, weird bread service or the latest craft cocktail.

" We have a dependable group of regulars who drop in, plug in, and join us for lunch, brunch, or dinner." 

We’re talking about Electric Vehicle Charging Stations. It seems that more and more mainstream diners, not just crunch granola eaters, are driving electric cars and looking for a place to chow down and charge up.

At several Twin Peaks, including the one off Kirby, you can find a pair of Blink L2 Pedestal units supplied and installed by The EV Project, a $230 million initiative funded by both the U.S. Department of Energy and corporate and private partnerships to jump-start America’s EV-specific infrastructure.

"We’re really proud to offer these stations for our customers’ use,” Twin Peaks co-founder and CEO Randy DeWitt, who himself owns a 2011 Chevy Volt, says in a statement. “Twin Peaks prides itself on innovation and long-term thinking as well as focusing on our customers, and electric vehicles will only become more popular from here forward.”

Well, that and half naked women.

Clear Lake Power

I recently had brunch with Dayna Steele and family. Anyone who’s been in Houston long enough remembers this gal from her KLOL DJ days and more recently as a television commentator and motivational author and speaker.

While chowing down on the brunch buffet at Pico’s Mex-Mex she explained she was in town to check out a Tesla. Tesla Motors, named for innovator Nikola Tesla, manufactures electric vehicles. The company  has a promotional showroom in the Galleria, but due to Texas laws it does not have dealerships in the state.

 We love our local produce, our local grown chefs and our local menus. Why not more eco-friendly car options? 

Anyway, Steele's family is buying a Tesla, because, well Dayna and family are very into next generation technology. But once you buy an electric car, the problem becomes where do you plug it in when driving from Clear Lake to Houston?

“Down in Clear Lake, Cullen’s has charging stations,” Steele says. “I think it’s the wave of the future for fine restaurants.”

“We were the first restaurant in Houston to the join the Green Restaurant Association, so we conducted a complete examination of our operations in search of eco-friendly practices,” says Kevin Munz, owner of Cullen’s American Grille. “Everything from insulation to the way we clean our linens. We have a 38,000 square foot complex and we wanted to do our part.

“About two years ago, a group approached us about charging stations, and I was intrigued because I had just purchased an electric car — a Chevy Volt. Their offer was attractive, and we cleared space for three charging stations and made them available to our customers.

“Today we have a dependable group of regulars who drop in, plug in, and join us for lunch, brunch, or dinner. Even those who don’t use the stations seem to appreciate the fact that we’ve made that kind of commitment to the environment.”

Dining at one of the several restaurants at the West Ave complex? There are charging stations on the ground level of its parking garage.

So maybe you’ll see more and more hot eateries in Houston start putting in E-V stations. We love our local produce, our local grown chefs and our local menus.

Why not more eco-friendly car options?