On the left

Deshaun Watson-backed cheesesteak restaurant opens first Houston location

Deshaun Watson-backed cheesesteak spot opens in Houston

Lefty's Cheesesteaks Italian Stallion
The Italian Stallion is topped with pepperoni and tomato sauce. Photo by Charles Rostamloo
Lefty's Cheesesteaks Sam Berry
Lefty's founder Sam Berry. Photo by Charles Rostamloo
Lefty's Cheesesteaks reuben sandwich
The menu also includes a classic Reuben sandwich. Photo by Charles Rostamloo
Lefty's Cheesesteaks Italian Stallion
Lefty's Cheesesteaks Sam Berry
Lefty's Cheesesteaks reuben sandwich

The wait for Leftys Famous Cheesesteaks ends next week. The Michigan-based restaurant will open its first Houston location at 11:30 am on December 15 (8057 Kirby Dr.).

Founded by Sam Berry, Lefty’s features cheesesteaks named for left-handed celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Sylvester Stallone. Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has become one of the company's owners, helping to drive its expansion to Texas. 

“Lefty’s is a family business," Watson said in a statement. “It was only right that after I met Sam and tried it, I brought it to my home in Houston.”

The menu features cheesesteaks made with USDA Choice ribeye served on a soft hoagie roll. Lefty's classic cheesesteak is topped with a blend of white American and Swiss cheese and cherry peppers. Other options include the Southpaw (topped with cheese sauce and crushed Hot Cheetos) and The Winfrey (seasoned shaved chicken, grilled onions, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeños, and chipotle aioli). Just as the Munchin w/ Michael (fried popcorn chicken, leaf lettuce, tomatoes, buffalo sauce, ranch dressing) is named for a Detroit food influencer, Lefty's plans to add a menu item named for a Houston influencer in the coming weeks.

In addition to cheesesteaks, diners may opt for corned beef, cold sandwiches, burgers, or salads. Appetizers such as cheesesteak egg rolls and fried mushrooms round out the menu.

“We are so excited to be in Houston with Deshaun Watson as the new face of our brand,” Berry added. “I’ve always been a fan of Houston and always wanted to go to Texas. It’s exciting for us, and I’m excited for people in Houston to try our food. Lefty’s can be imitated, but never duplicated. Everybody in Houston is going to realize that if you don’t eat left, you don’t eat right.”

Having a menu with relatively few items has been a key component of Lefty’s growth. Most of its business comes via takeout, according to a release, with delivery available via DoorDash and GrubHub.

The location's proximity to NRG Stadium means that Watson plans to use the restaurant for charity events and appearances throughout the year. Tuesday's grand opening will be attended by the Texans cheerleaders, the team's mascot Toro, and others. 

Lefty's second Houston location will open at I-10 in Federal Rd. in January. Overall, the company plans to open 150 locations across Texas. The Kirby location will be open from 10 am-10 pm Monday through Saturday and 10 am-8 pm Sunday.