On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," Jonathan Horowitz joins Sandler to discuss his new venture and the future of Houston's restaurant industry. Earlier this year, Horowitz left his role as president of Legacy Restaurants (The Originnal Ninfa's, Antone's Po'Boys) to establish Convive Hospitality Consulting. In that role, he's taken on a number of projects, including working with Treebeards to open its new Memorial location, the upcoming Palace Social bowling and entertainment concept, and more.
After going through some of Horowitz's projects, Sandler turns the conversation to the current and future state of Houston restaurants. Whatever happens with the pandemic, Horowitz predicts that some of the changes it has forced restaurants to make will likely become permanent. Clients he's speaking with are including online ordering, expanded outdoor seating, and third party delivery in their business plans for new projects.
"Looking at the overall trend of the industry, even pre-pandemic, it was trending more towards fast casual, convenience, healthy, technologically astute places with convenience and a value proposition," Horowitz says. "I think we'll see that even more. Places will be smaller, oriented more for take-out . . . things like that. This whole experience is pushing that change a lot faster."
Prior to the interview, Sandler and co-host Felice Sloan of Swanky Maven discuss the news of the week. Their topics include: Benjy Levit's decision to sell The Classic in order to focus on Local Foods; Tonight & Tomorrow, the new restaurant opening in La Colombe D'or, the boutique hotel in Montrose; and Ninja Ramen's new partnership with Click Virtual Food Hall.
In the restaurants of the week segment, they rave about the elegant French food at Bistro 555, Genevieve Guy's new concept for Memorial-area staple Bistro Provence. They also describe their recent meals at the new Treebeards.