A rapidly expanding local bar group has added a Spring Branch staple to its inventory, but it's moving forward without a top local chef. When Night Moves Hospitality reopens Live Oak Grill on October 15, it will do so without Lyle Bento, the prominent local chef who provided the culinary direction for its two other concepts, Space Cowboy and Trash Panda Drinking Club.
Bento, whose resume includes Underbelly and Southern Goods, tells CultureMap he recently parted ways with the company. In response to CultureMap's request for comment, a representative for Night Moves provided the following statement:
"Lyle has decided to pursue another opportunity and will no longer be working with Night Moves. Greg and everyone at Night Moves wish Lyle the best and thank him for the integral role he played in getting their concepts off the ground."
As for Live Oak Grill, it will be different from both Trash Panda and Space Cowboy for a few reasons. First, it opens daily for lunch with a comfort food menu that features dishes such as a shrimp po' boy, chicken fried steak, and a pulled pork sandwich. An outdoor playground means the bar is open to families with children until 8 pm, at which time it becomes adults-only.
Night Moves co-owner Greg Perez and his bar team have updated Live Oak's beverage offerings with 20 beers on tap along with new cocktails that include four frozens and riffs on classics like a pear Moscow mule and a cucumber mojtio.
Located in Spring Branch at 10444 Hempstead Rd., Live Oak occupies a 2.7-acre property that's shaded by five large live oak trees. Indoor seating takes place in an antique house that dates back to 1915, while an expansive patio has seating for 80.
“Live Oak will be unlike our other Night Moves concepts,” Perez said. “We want to create an inviting, everyday neighborhood bar with an emphasis on friendly service, ice cold beer, cocktails and good food. This will be a place for families, for lunches and happy hours, a first stop before a night on the town or a night cap on your way home.”
To celebrate its grand opening on October 15, Live Oak will offer half-off food and drinks all day.
Night Moves will open its fourth new concept of 2021 in the coming weeks. Chivos, a Mexican-American restaurant led by chef Thomas Bille, will replace Calle Onze in the Heights.