Give it a squeeze
Steakhouse owner's buzzy new Washington Avenue burger joint sets opening date
Ben Berg doesn't slow down. Over the last year, the proprietor of B&B Butchers steakhouse has purchased Memorial-area Italian restaurant Carmelo's and hired his brother Daniel as its chef, opened a second B&B in Fort Worth, and is planning an upscale concept called Benjamin for The Star apartment building downtown — all under his growing Berg Hospitality banner.
In his free time, Berg is opening a new restaurant and patio bar on November 8. His new concept B.B. Lemon describes itself as “an elevated eatery and bar serving classic, straightforward food.” Located across the street from B&B Butchers in the former Caddy Shack space, B.B. Lemon occupies a tidy, 1,900 square feet. The space features a 76-seat dining room, a 22-seat bar, and a spacious, fully landscaped patio.
“This is a place where I’d want to go and hang out,” said Berg in a statement. “We’ve put a lot of thought into what our customers like. It’s more than just a great menu or ambiance; it’s an experience.”
Taking its name and some of its inspiration from iconic New York City spot J.G. Melon, burgers have pride of place on the menu — a hamburger, cheeseburger, “baconburger,” bacon cheeseburger, and a patty melt are all available. Other options include some of Berg's favorite comfort food dishes from both his roots in New York and his life in Houston: everything from New England clam chowder in a bread bowl and a lobster roll to blue crab beignets, chili, and fish and chips. Not surprisingly, dessert options skew nostalgic; diners may opt for a root beer float, banana pudding, cheesecake, or brownie a la mode (among others).
Chef Eric Johnson, the husband of B&B's sommelier Lexey Johnson, leads the kitchen. Monique Cioffi-Hernandez makes the jump from Field & Tides to fill the role of beverage director. Cocktails feature riffs on classics, including "B.B." versions of the Manhattan, the mule, and the bellini. A tidy list of wines by-the-glass and some easy drinking beers round out the beverage options.
“To us, this was about creating a fun, neighborhood spot where there’s something for everyone, but it’s also worth the drive for people who don’t live in the area,” Berg added. “Our team really enjoyed putting together the design and the menus and we hope Houston loves it just as much as we do.”
B.B. Lemon; 1809 Washington Avenue; 713-554-1809; Monday through Wednesday 11 am to 12 am; Thursday through Saturday 11 am to 2 am; Sunday 11 am to 10 pm.