A nationally renown, Miami-based doughnut shop has set its sights on Houston. The Salty will open its first Bayou City location on the property currently occupied by One Fifth at 1658 Westheimer Rd.
Jeremy Zidell, founder and managing partner for Dallas-based real estate consulting and brokerage company RUE, tells CultureMap that the cafe’s current plan is to build a new structure and courtyard at the north end of the property that will abut the existing restaurant. Once the plan receives final approval from the city of Houston and construction begins, the shop looks to open in the fourth quarter of 2022.
A representative for The Salty declined CultureMap's request to comment on its plans, but Zidell says he's "confident" that the city will allow the construction project to move forward.
Founded in 2015 by Andy Rodriguez and Amanda Pizarro in Miami’s Wynwood district, The Salty is credited with introducing gourmet doughnuts to Miami. The shop quickly began earning national attention, winning the Cooking Channel’s Sugar Showdown in 2016 and amassing an impressive 272,000 followers on Instagram. In addition to locations in Miami, The Salty also has outposts in Dallas and Austin.
Signature flavors include a maple-bacon, 24-hour-raised brioche doughnut, a brown butter cake doughnut, and a Texas sheet cake doughnut with chocolate glaze. Seasonal specials include both a vegan and a gluten-free option.
Doughnuts are paired with coffee from Chicago’s acclaimed roaster Intelligentsia Coffee. The high quality ingredients and elegant presentations mark The Salty as different from a typical grab-and-go doughnut shop.
“Their brick and mortar presentation is in the vein of a cafe,” Zidell says. “It’s beautiful. It’s the sort of place you could go for a meeting as well as take your kids on a Saturday morning.”
He adds that The Salty has been searching for the right Houston location for more than two years. Home to both acclaimed Houston restaurant Mark’s American Cuisine before becoming One Fifth, James Beard Award winner Chris Shepherd’s rotating concept, Zidell says The Salty sees its site selection as one more way to indicate that it serves a high quality, well made product. Zidell adds that he’s on the hunt for a tenant to replace One Fifth, which will close at the end of this year.
“One Fifth is an iconic piece of real estate, largely validated by Chris Shepherd,” he says. “We aspire to backfill that space with most likely a full service restaurant of the ilk that is suitable for the Montrose neighborhood and to follow the footsteps of Chris Shepherd.”
Teresa Gubbins contributed to this article.