On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," Gary Mosley, founder and owner of The Creek Group, joins CultureMap food editor to discuss his career. Since opening Onion Creek in 1999, Mosley's Heights-based restaurant group now operates five concepts: Onion Creek, Canyon Creek, Cedar Creek, Piggy's Kitchen & Bar, and Cactus Cove.
The conversation begins with Mosley describing how attending school in San Marcos and Austin led to his vision for restaurants with tree-covered patios, accessible menus loaded with comfort food, and a diverse staff. Mosley estimates that of his approximately 200 employees close to 30 have been with him since the beginning.
In addition to operating restaurants, Mosley has also been active in the community. In his role as a sub-committee chair for Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's transition team, Mosley helped identify areas of improvement for the process of obtaining construction permits. Sandler asks what changes he's most proud of.
"Getting things out easier and inspectors working with you. I see that," Mosley says. "When I get an inspection [now], I get a 'hello, how are you doing' instead of 'what are you doing.' Also, when I go in, they're there to help you now as opposed to then, they'd say 'go get your architect to do that.' We're making some changes. I'm pretty happy with what the mayor has been doing."
Sandler asks if Mosley plans to continue his involvement in the political process and gets an affirmative response. "I was going to run for City Council last session. I didn't the thumbs up, per se," Mosley says. "We'll see the next go around. I've always loved politics. I love when you can make a change for people."
Prior to the interview, Sandler and co-host Linda Salinas discuss the news of the week. Their topics include: the closure of Benjy's to allow for an expansion of Local Foods Market and recent openings such as Casa Do Brasil, Tiger Sugar, and Del Vista Local Bar & Grill, chef Greg Gordon's return to Briargrove.
In the restaurant of the week segment, the duo discuss a recent meal at The Sporting Club, the recently opened restaurant on Washington Avenue from the owners of Clutch and Concrete Cowboy. After praising chef E.J. Miller's menu, they weigh in on the obvious question — would you rather eat at Sporting Club or Bisou?